Jean Nouvel
I believe the architect is a man who says something
Keith H. Walker + Charlotte Huisman, April 7, 2008
Jean Nouvel_19th, New York
Jean Nouvel_19th, New York
For Nouvel, in architecture there is no “style” a priori. Rather, context, interpreted in the broadest sense to include culture, location, program, and client, provokes him to develop a different strategy for each project.The iconic Guthrie Theater (2006) in Minneapolis, Minnesota both merges and contrasts with its surroundings. It is responsive to the city and the nearby Mississippi River, and yet, it is also an expression of theatricality and the magical world of performance. In his recently completed Musée du Quai Branly (Quai Branly Museum) for Paris’s significant collection of indigenous art of Africa, Oceania, Asia, and the Americas, Nouvel designed a bold, unorthodox building with unusual spaces in which objects are displayed - and understood - in new ways. Many of the materials used in the interiors, including wall and ceiling decorations by native artists, evoke the countries of their origin. “Since the beginning of his architectural career in the 1970s, Frenchman Jean Nouvel has broken the aesthetic of modernism and post-modernism to create a stylistic language all his own. He places enormous importance on designing a building harmonious with its surroundings,” said Bill Lacy in his book, One Hundred Contemporary Architects. Lacy, who was executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize from 1988 until 2005 when he retired, continued, “In the end that building’s design may borrow from traditional and nontraditional forms, but its presentation is entirely unique.” The Arab World Institute is just one of more than two hundred projects by Jean Nouvel that the Pritzker Architecture Prize Jury has singled out in its formal citation. The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota is another of the projects mentioned in the citation.

Jean Nouvel_19th, New York
Jean Nouvel_19th, New York
Jean Nouvel_53 West 53rd Street, New York
Jean Nouvel_53 West 53rd Street, New York
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