Biography

Jean NOUVEL was born in Fumel, France in 1945.

After he enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, Jean Nouvel ranked first in the entrance examination of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1966 and obtained his degree in 1972. Assistant to the architect Claude Parent and inspired by urban planner and essayist Paul Virilio, he started his first architecture practice in 1970. Soon afterwards, he became a founding member of the Mars 1976 movement whose purpose was to oppose corporatism in architecture. He also co-founded the Labor Union of French Architects in marked opposition to the existing national Board of Architects. His strong stances and somewhat provocative opinions on contemporary architecture in the urban context together with his unfailing ability to inject a sense of originality into all the projects he undertakes have formed his international reputation. Jean Nouvel’s work does not result from considerations of style or ideology, but from a quest to create a unique concept for a singular combination of people, place and time. His contextual approach and ability to infuse a genuine uniqueness into all the projects he undertakes have consistently yielded buildings that transform their environments and indelibly mark the cities in which they are built, like the Arab World Institute (Paris – 1987), the Lyon Opera House (Lyon – 1993), the Cartier Foundation (Paris – 1994), the Galeries Lafayette (Berlin – 1996), the Culture and Congress Center KKL (Lucerne – 2000), the Agbar Tower (Barcelona – 2005), the extension of the Queen Sofia Arts Center (Madrid – 2005), the Quai Branly Museum (Paris – 2006), the Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis – 2006), the 40 Mercer luxury residences (New York – 2008), the Doha Tower offices (Doha – 2011), the Renaissance Fira Hotel (Barcelona – 2012), the mixed use high-rise building One Central Park (Sydney – 2014) the Police Headquarters & Charleroi Danses extension (Charleroi – 2014), the residential, office and retail tower The White Walls (Nicosia, 2015), the Philharmonie de Paris (Paris – 2015).

His works have gained world-wide recognition through numerous prestigious French and International prizes and rewards. In 1989, The Arab World Institute in Paris was awarded the Aga-Khan Prize because of its role as “a successful bridge between French and Arab cultures”. In 2000, Jean Nouvel received the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale. In 2001, he received three of the highest international awards: the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Praemium Imperiale of Japan’s Fine Arts Association and the Borromini Prize for the Culture and Conference Center in Lucerne. He was appointed Doctor Honoris Causa of the Royal College of Art in London in 2002 and he was the recipient of the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2008.

Awards

2017
European Steel Design Award for the Louvre Abu Dhabi Dome w/Waagner-Biro AG

2016
Best Tall Building Europe, CTBUH (USA), for The White Walls in Nicosia, Cyprus

2014
Best Tall Building Worldwide, CTBUH (USA), for One Central Park in Sydney, AustraliaCentral Park à Sydney (Australie)

2013
Doctor Honoris Causa of the Catholic University of Louvain UCL, Belgium

2012
Best Tall Building Worldwide, CTBUH (USA), for Doha office tower in Qatar

2011
European Hotel Design Award for the Sofitel Hotel in Vienna, Austria

2010
Officier de la Légion d’honneur, France

2008
Pritzker Architecture Prize of The Hyatt Foundation (USA)

2006
International Highrise Award of the Deutsches Architekturmuseum DAM (Germany) for Agbar Tower in Barcelona, Spain
Doctor Honoris Causa of the Higher Institute of Art of Habana, Cuba
Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (USA)

2005
Wolf Prize in Arts, Foundation Wolf (Israël)

2003
Doctor Honoris Causa of the Royal Academy of Art, Copenhagen, Denmark

2002
Doctor Honoris Causa of the Royal College of Art of London, United Kingdom
Doctor Honoris Causa of the Design University of Naples, Italia
Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, France

2001
Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects RIBA, United Kingdom
Praemium Imperiale International Art Awards in Architecture of the Japan Art Association
International Architecture Award Francesco Borromini of the City of Rome for the Culture and Congress Center in Lucerne, SwitzerlandPraemium Imperiale International Art Awards in Architecture of the Japan Art AssociationInternational Architecture Award Francesco Borromini of the City of Rome for the Culture and Congress Center in Lucerne, Switzerland

2000
Golden Lion of the 7th International Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italia

1998
Gold Medal of the French Academy of Architecture, France

1997
Commandeur dans l’Ordre des arts et des lettres, France

1993
Equerre d’Argent for the National Opera House of Lyon, France

1990
Architectural Record Prize for the Saint James Hotel in Bouliac, France

1989
Equerre d’Argent for the Arab World Institute in Paris, France

1987
Chevalier de l’Ordre national du mérite

1983
Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina