Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Jean-Nouvel.jpgJean Nouvel. Photo by Djamel Dine Zitout

By Eva Bjerring

Ateliers Jean Nouvel is the internationally based architecture company founded by French star architect Jean Nouvel. Jean Nouvel’s persistence, insatiable urge for the creative experimental and his resistance against the ordinary have earned him a place as one of the top architects in the world as well as numerous architectural awards, here among the Pritzker Prize.

Ateliers Jean Nouvel was founded by Jean Nouvel (born 1945) in 1994 together with Michel Pélissié. The main office in Paris is one of the largest architecture firms in France, with additional international offices scattered around architectural important cities in Europe and in New York.

Jean Nouvel’s architecture aims at being ‘a visual landscape’, a color- and playful architecture that often breaks from its neighboring surroundings as an independent voice twitching against normality. His focus into architecture is one that reflects the modernity of our time. One that opposes a rethinking of historical references and refuses to confess to a certain style.

Instead he deals with what is happening in our time here and now and is not afraid to incorporate new technologies and materials in his designs to create an architecture that relates to the specific context – based on a different strategy for each project every time.

This approach has earned him international fame and especially since his vibrant and living ‘Institut du Monde Arabe’ (IMA) finished in 1987 the entire world has been his playground.

Well over 200 projects have so far left the table. From France, where the concentration of Jean Nouvel projects is still the highest, to Japan, Spain, England, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, Korea, Mexico, Israel, Brazil, Qatar, Lebanon, Cyprus, Iceland, UAE, Taiwan, Malaysia, Portugal, Kuwait, Morocco, Russia and the U.S.

Early in his career, Nouvel became a key participant in intellectual debates about architecture in France. He is the co-founder of the Mars 1976 architecture movement as well as the French labor union for the architects the Syndicat de l’Architecture in 1977.

Jean Nouvel has among a long list of prestigious prizes been awarded the  Aga Khan Award for Architecturefor the  Institut du Monde Arabe,the Wolf Prize in Arts  in 2005 and the  Pritzker Prize  in 2008 for his “courageous approach of new ideas and his challenge of accepted norms in order to stretch the boundaries of the field.”In addition his work has been displayed in a number of museums and architectural centers worldwide.