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 the architects’corporatism and then a founder of French Architecture Union. His strong stances and somewhat provocative opinions on contemporary architecture in the urban context together with his unfailing ability to inject originality into all the projects he undertakes have formed his international image.
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 Lion d’Or of the Venice Biennale. In 2001, he received three of the highest international awards: the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Praemium Imperial of Japan’s Fine Arts Association and the Borromini Prize for the Culture and Conference Center in Lucerne. He was appointed Docteur Honoris Causa of the Royal College of Art in London en 2002. Three years later, he received the annual prize of the Wolf Foundation in Israel “for providing a new model of contextualism and redefining the dialectic between the two salient characteristics of contemporary architecture: concreteness and ephemerality”. The Agbar Tower in Barcelona was awarded the International Highrise Award 2006 in Frankfurt, “as it makes an outstanding contribution to the current debate on high-rises”. Jean Nouvel was the recipient of the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2008. In France, he received many prizes including the Gold Medal of the French Academy of Architecture, two Equerres d’Argent and National Grand Prize for Architecture.
Principal projects currently being designed or under construction: Louvre Museum (Abu Dhabi), Philharmonic Hall (Paris), National Museum of Qatar (Doha), “Tour de Verre” integrating the extension of the MoMA galleries (New York), new Police headquarters and extension of Charleroi/Danses (Charleroi), Marina Life residential complex (Ibiza), One Central Park mixed use high-rise building (Sydney), Learning Resource Center (Nicosia), 2 residential towers (Kuala Lumpur), 4 residential towers Anderson 18 (Singapore), residential tower Ardmore (Singapore), Midi railway station (Brussels), office tower La Marseillaise (Marseille), office tower and hotel Duo (Paris), European Patent Office (Rijswijk), Hekla office tower (Paris), architect in charge of the coordination of the l’île Seguin urban renewal project (Boulogne-Billancourt).