BODW 2009
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French Architect Jean Nouvel is the 2008 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Revered for a career long pursuit of new ideas that has expanded architecture’s praxis to new limits, Nouvel’s iconic designs include Institut du Monde Arabe, The Opera House in Lyon, the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, The Cultural and Congress center in Lucerne, The Agbar tower in Barcelona, The Quai Branly Museum, and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

Born in 1945, Nouvel began his professional training at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Shortly into his career, he became a key participant in intellectual debates about architecture, co-founding the Mars 1976 movement, and in 1977, the Syndicat de l'Architecture. Nouvel was one of the key organisers of the competition for the rejuvenation of the Les Halles district, and is the founder of Paris’ first architecture biennale in 1980.

In 1981, Nouvel won the design competition for the Institut du Monde Arabe building in Paris, whose construction was completed in 1987. Earning Nouvel his international breakthrough, the Institut du Monde Arabe is a tour de force celebrated for its ingenious use of mechanical lenses. Evocative of Arabic latticework, the photoelectric cell lenses open and shut automatically, controlling interior ambience in response to exterior light levels.

His present practice, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, was formed in 1994 with Michel Pélissié and is one of the largest in France, with 140 people in the main office in Paris. In 2007, Nouvel designed a limited edition flacon for L'Homme, an Yves Saint Laurent fragrance. Since 2007 Jean Nouvel opening : the Brembo’s research and development centre in Bergame, the Richemont Corporation headquarters in Geneva, the swimming pool of Les Bains des docks in Le Havre, the DR Symphonic House in Copenhagen, an apartment building, 40 Mercer Street, in New York Soho, The Ferrari’s factory in Maranello Modena, The Pavilion B of the Fiera in Genova…

At present, Nouvel is working on the Philharmonic hall in Paris , the Louvre Abu Dhabi and an office tower in Doha Qatar In the Middle East. In New York City, he is constructing an apartment building in Chelsea, a twisting, angular 75-storey Midtown skyscraper that neighbours the Museum of Modern Art. He is also working on The Tour Signal in Paris la Défense, a mixed use building in Vienna, an hotel in Barcelona, an office tower in Marseille. He is the architect manager of L’île Seguin …