Nouvel studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l'Architecture. Jean Nouvel is a French architect. But Jean is willing to jump in and take on things and try. Jean Nouvel, (born August 12, 1945, Fumel, Lot-et-Garonne, France), French architect who designed his buildings to “create a visual landscape” that fit their context—sometimes by making them contrast with the surrounding area. The design garnered Nouvel the 1989 Aga Khan Award for architectural excellence. Nouvel first gained an international audience in 1987 when the Institute of the Arab World (Institut du Monde Arabe [IMA]) was completed. Discussion led with the assistance of Jean-Louis Cohen, historian and architect, visiting professor at the Collège de France. Interior of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, designed by Jean Nouvel. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. There’s a mixture of things that are extraordinary, things that are experiments, things that don’t come off aesthetically. Premium Membership is now 50% off! Kathleen Kuiper was Senior Editor, Arts & Culture, Encyclopædia Britannica until 2016. Updates? She also edited, 63 Questions from Britannica’s Most Popular Visual Arts Quizzes. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Black Friday Sale! Omissions? Nouvel graduated in 1972 with a degree in architecture. Architect Jean Nouvel discussing his design for the Guthrie Theater (2006) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from the documentary. When Nouvel was young, his parents, both teachers, suggested that, instead of following his dream to become an artist, he should do something more practical so that he could earn a living, and architecture provided a perfect compromise. The main, south facade of that building, with its high-tech aperture-like panels, manages to be at once cutting-edge in its creative response to changing levels of light and evocative of traditional Arab moucharaby (latticework grills). While there, he also worked for an architectural firm formed by the Modernist architect Claude Parent and the “urbanist” and cultural theorist Paul Virilio. A number of museums and architectural centres have presented retrospe… Jean Nouvel Jean Nouvel, famous for making buildings in harmony with the context, was born on 12 August 1945 in France. Jean Nouvel, (born August 12, 1945, Fumel, Lot-et-Garonne, France), French architect who designed his buildings to “create a visual landscape” that fit their context—sometimes by making them contrast with the surrounding area. For his boldly experimental designs, which defy a general characterization, he was awarded the 2008 Pritzker Architecture Prize, and by the early 21st century Nouvel had earned a place in the pantheon of architectural superstars. Meeting around architecture at the Fondation Louis Vuitton As part of the exhibition “Being Modern: MoMA in Paris” (October 11, 2017 - March 5, 2018), Glenn D. Lowry, director of the MoMA, talks with Jean Nouvel. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. You’ll need to know your Monet from your Manet—and a whole lot more—to make it through these questions from some of Britannica’s most popular quizzes. In 2007 he won commissions to design a 75-story mixed-use tower (later known as 53 West 53, or 53W53) next to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City (construction began in 2014) and a museum for the cultural district of Abu Dhabi, lying just offshore. The building was constructed around the restored Old Amiri Palace, the site of Qatar’s earlier national museum. In 1965 Nouvel captured the first of many prizes by winning a national competition to attend the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Parents of Nouvel, associated with the teaching profession, pushed him to study mathematics and language to ultimately land into the profession of engineering. He has obtained a number of prestigious distinctions over the course of his career, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (technically, the prize was awarded for the Institut du Monde Arabe which Nouvel designed), the Wolf Prize in Arts in 2005 and the Pritzker Prizein 2008. Corrections? That’s a great quality. Throughout his career Nouvel’s lack of a signature style was his trademark.