Jean Nouvel, nuevo premio Pritzker 2007
Jean Nouvel of Paris, France has been chosen as the 2008
Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The formal ceremony for what has come to
be known throughout the world as architecture’s highest honor will be held on June 2 in
Washington,D.C. at the Library of Congress. At that time, a $100,000 grant and a bronze
medallion will be bestowed on the 62-year old architect.
Nouvel who came to international attention with the completion of his Institut du
Monde Arabe (usually referred to as IMA) in 1987 as one of President Francois Mitterand’s
Grands Travaux in Paris, now has several projects in the United States, including the Guthrie
Theater in Minneapolis completed in 2006, a 75-story tower (Tour Verre) next door to
MOMA in New York, and recently announced plans for a high rise condominium (Suncal
Tower) in the Century City district of Los Angeles. In Europe, some of his other important
works are the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art (Paris 1994), the Branly Museum
(Paris 2006), the Agbar Tower (Barcelona 2005), a Courthouse (Nantes 2000), a Cultural
and Conference Center (Lucerne 2000), an Opera House (Lyon 1993), and Expo 2002
(Switzerland). Also currently under construction is a concert hall in Copenhagen.
Although the bulk of his work is in France, he has designed projects all over the
world, including Japan, Spain, England, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic,
Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Korea, Mexico, Israel, Brazil, Qatar, Lebanon, Cyprus,
Iceland, UAE, Taiwan, Malaysia, Portugal, Kuwait, Morocco, Russia and the U.S.— well
over two hundred in all.
In announcing the jury’s choice, Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of The Hyatt
Foundation, quoted from the jury citation, “Of the many phrases that might be used
to describe the career of architect Jean Nouvel, foremost are those that emphasize his
courageous pursuit of new ideas and his challenge of accepted norms in order to stretch
the boundaries of the field.” And further, Pritzker added, “The jury acknowledged the
‘persistence, imagination, exuberance, and, above all, an insatiable urge for creative
experimentation’ as qualities abundant in Nouvel’s work.”
In Nouvel’s own words, “My interest has always been in an architecture which
reflects the modernity of our epoch as opposed to the rethinking of historical references.
My work deals with what is happening now—our techniques and materials, what we are
capable of doing today.”
Pritzker Prize jury chairman, The Lord Palumbo elaborated with more of the citation:
“Since establishing his Paris based practice in the 1970s, Nouvel has pushed himself, as well
as those around him, to consider new approaches to conventional architectural problems.
For Nouvel, in architecture there is no “style” a priori. Rather, a context, interpreted in the
broadest sense to include culture, location, program and client, provokes him to develop a
different strategy for each project.”
Entry filed under: urbanismo.