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Top Architects | Jean Nouvel


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Ateliers Jean Nouvel (AJN) is one of the largest architecture practices in France with over 30 active projects all over the world and a multicultural staff of 180 professionals from the domains of architecture, urban design, landscape design, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, model making and image production!  Led by top architect Jean Nouvel, this Studio has built museums, concert halls, conference centers, theaters, hotels, collective housing, office buildings, commercial centers, and private residences around the world and is respected as one of the top architectural firms in the world!


Top architects| Jean Nouvel


But the fame of the Studio is due to Jean Nouvel, an artist that’s recognized as one of the world’s most innovative architects. His projects transform the landscapes in which they are built, often becoming major urban events. His unique approach, driven by the specificities of context, program and site, has proven effective in projects such as the Arab World Institute in Paris, Lyon’s Opera House, Lucerne’s Culture and Congress Center (Switzerland), the Vinci Conference Center in Tours, the extension of the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid (Spain), the Soho Apartments in New York, Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater (United States of America), the Agbar Tower in Barcelona (Spain), Copenhagen’s Danish Radio Concert Hall (Denmark), the Quai Branly Museum in Paris. Most recently, numbers of new built projects strengthened AJN influence, such as Tour Horizons in Boulogne-Billancourt, Archipel Theatre in Perpignan, Montpellier City Hall, Hôtel Sofitel in Vienna (Austria), Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona (Spain), Imagine Institute in Paris or One Central Park in Sydney (Australia).

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Credits Jean Nouvel


Jean Nouvel’s international recognition favored numbers of projects currently under studies or under construction, such as the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) in Beijing (China), the National Museum of Qatar in Doha, the Musée du Louvre Abu Dhabi (United Arabs Emirates), the Anderson Tower in Singapore, a real estate complex in Lima (Peru). AJN won important international competition, such as the Philharmonie de Paris or Charleroi’s Police Headquarters (Belgium). Many cities have entrusted AJN for their urban plans, such as Boulogne-Billancourt (Ile Seguin), Prague (Czech Republic), Budapest (Hungary), Tangier (Morocco), Toledo or Vigo (Spain).
François Fontès, president since may 2014, and Diane Clerc, appointed Managing Director, give AJN their expert knowledge of the world of architecture and construction. The new board allows Jean Nouvel to dialog with our clients during the whole process of architectural design.

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Jean Nouvel was born 12 August 1945, and he is a French architect. Nouvel studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l’Architecture. He has obtained a number of prestigious distinctions over the course of his career, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (technically, the prize was awarded for the Institut du Monde Arabe which Nouvel designed), the Wolf Prize in Arts in 2005 and the Pritzker Prize in 2008. A number of museums and architectural centres have presented retrospectives of his work.


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Nouvel was born on 12 August 1945 in Fumel, Lot-et-Garonne, France. He is the son of Renée and Roger Nouvel who were teachers. His family moved often when his father became the county’s chief school superintendent. His parents encouraged Nouvel to study mathematics and language, but when he was 16 years old he was captivated by art when a teacher taught him drawing. Although he later said he thought that his parents were guiding him to pursue a career in education or engineering, the family reached a compromise that he could study architecture which they thought was less risky than art.



When Nouvel failed an entrance examination at the École des Beaux-Arts of Bordeaux, he moved to Paris where he won first prize in a national competition to attend the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. From 1967 to 1970, Nouvel earned his income as an assistant to architects Claude Parent and Paul Virilio, who after only one year, made him a project manager in charge of building a large apartment complex.

Nouvel and filmmaker Odile Fillion married and have two sons, Bertrand, who is a post-doctorate computer scientist working at Mindstorm Multitouch in London, and Pierre, who is a theater producer and designer at his company, Factoid. With his second wife Catherine Richard, Nouvel has a daughter, Sarah. He lives now with Mia Hägg, who is a Swedish architect working at her practice Habiter Autrement (HA) in Paris.


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The Projects

Police Headquarters of Charleroi and extension of Charleroi Danses


Jean Nouvel and the mayor of Charleroi, Mr Paul Magnette, inaugurated November 14, 2014 the new Police Headquarters of the City of Charleroi designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel and MDW architecture. This project was chosen in 2011 as the result of international competition. Its goal is to create a pleasant image of the police while giving the city a new urban landmark. The basis of the work led to keeping and restoring the two wings of the existing old cavalry barracks and building a 75 meters high Tower on the site that was freed. This building merges into the urban landscape of the upper city and creates a dialogue with the City Hall belfry, becoming a new symbol on the city skyline. This verticality made it possible to create a wide public square open to the city. The users of the Police Headquarters and of Charleroi Danses and the visitors to the future Musée des Beaux Arts will increase the surprising diversity of the area in their comings and goings; they will meet in the new public square and eat in the new brasserie where police and dance will encounter each other.

Top architects| Jean Nouvel

Top architects| Jean Nouvel Top architects| Jean Nouvel


One Central Park


Two iconic towers designed by Jean Nouvel for Block 2 of the Frasers Broadway project transform the skyline of Sydney. The program includes a 34-story residential apartment tower and a 12-story serviced apartment tower set on a common retail podium.The 130 meter high building is the culminating landmark of the multi-building Frasers Broadway project, located on a former brewery site near the downtown.
A vertical landscape designed in collaboration with French botanist and artist Patrick Blanc covers approximately 50% of the building’s façade area. The landscape extends the planted are of the adjacent urban park vertically onto the building, creating an exceptional living environment for the building’s residents and a powerful green icon on the Sydney skyline.
Hydroponic walls and low profile horizontal planters and support cables integrated into the tower’s facades support a variety of climbing and spreading plants. The plants act as a natural sun control device that changes with the seasons, shielding the apartments from direct sun during summer while admitting a maximum of sunlight in winter. A combination of sustainable design strategies makes Block 2 the first residential tower in Sidney to achieve a 6 Green Star rating.
The apartments and serviced apartments feature indoor/outdoor loggias that extend the living space outside to take maximum advantage of Sidney’s temperate climate. On the north and east façades, the loggias extend in from the façade to protect residents from noise, wind and sun. On the south and west they extend out from the façade to take maximum advantage of views toward the park.
The residential tower is marked by a monumental cantilever near its summit. The cantilever houses a common room and panoramic terrace for the residential apartments. A motorized heliostat fixed to the cantilever captures sunlight and reflects it down into the area of the park overshadowed by the tower. The heliostat is illuminated at night by French lighting artist Yann Kersalé. The tower and the adjacent park are linked by a series of cascading planted terraces. A lower level plaza lined with cafés and shops provides direct access to the shopping center from the park. Through-block links from the main street through the shopping center to the park connect the elements together in a fluid architectural promenade. The project pushes the integration of landscape and tower architecture to a new level and offer Sidney a new architectural icon that symbolizes the city’s sustainable future.

Top architects| Jean Nouvel

Top architects| Jean Nouvel Top architects| Jean Nouvel


Hainan Atlantis


It’s a matter of simply, evidently, building the most beautiful hotel of our time, dedicated to leisure, the sun, the sea, while offering a new interpretation of the Atlantis theme: the mysteries linked to the sea, to reclaimed secrets and to the fauna of mythology.
To succeed in this challenge, it is essential in Hainan to stand out from the neighboring hotels by clearly using our first asset: a site much wider than the others, at the center of the district of beaches area and hotels. We have the means to clearly dominate this site in its center, by implementing an architecture of the largest scale, legible from a distance, the most monumental, the most inscribed in the sky. This architecture must express that it is dedicated to the sea and conceived to feel the sea, and this from the lobby to the room, including the restaurants, the conference center and the night clubs.

Top architects| Jean Nouvel Top architects| Jean Nouvel

Top architects| Jean Nouvel



2014      Best Tall Building Worldwide and Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia by the CTBUH for One Central Park in Sydney (Australia)

2013      Doctor “Honoris Causa” Louvin Catholic University (Belgium)

2012      Best Tall Building Worldwide and Middle East & Africa by the CTBUH for the Doha office tower (Qatar)

2011      European Hotel Design Award for the Hotel Sofitel Stephansdom Vienna (Austria)

2010      Wallpaper Design Awards – Best public building of the year for the Symphony Hall in Copenhagen (Denmark)

2010      Officer of the “Légion d’honneur” (France)

2008      Pritzker Architecture Prize

2007      Crystal Globe of Honor

2006      Doctor “Honoris Causa” Higher Institute of Art of Cuba.

2006      Officer of the “Ordre national du mérite” (France)

2006      Crystal Globe, architecture category (best architect)

2006      International Highrise Award 2006 for the Agbar Tower in Barcelona (Spain)

2006      Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture, American Academie of Arts and Letters (USA)

2006      Creator of the Year Award, Maison & Objet Exhibition (France)

2005      Wolf Prize in Arts, Wolf Foundation (Israel)

2002      Doctor “Honoris Causa” University of Naples (Italy)

2002      Knight of the “Légion d’honneur” (France)

2002      Honorary Doctorate of the Royal College of Art, London (UK)

2001      Praemium Imperiale (Japan)

2001      Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects

2001      Borromini Award for the Culture and Congress Center in Lucerne (Switzerland)

2000      Golden Lion from the Venice Biennale (Italy)

1998      Gold Medal from the French Academy of Architecture

1997      Commander of the “Ordre des arts et des lettres” (France)

1995      Honorary Fellow, RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)

1993      Equerre d’Argent for the Opera House in Lyon (Best French Building of the Year Award)

1993      Honorary Fellow, AIA Chicago (American Institute of Architects)

1990      Architectural Record Prize for the Saint James Hotel in Bouliac

1989      Aga Khan Prize for the Arab World Institute

1987      Equerre d’Argent for the Arab World Institute (Best French Building of the Year Award)

1987      Grand Prix national d’architecture (France)

1987      Knight of the “Ordre national du mérite” (France)

1983      Doctor “Honoris Causa” University of Buenos Aires (Argentina)

1983      Silver Medal from the French Academy of Architecture

1983      Knight of the “Ordre des arts et des lettres” (France)


See also:

Top Interior Designers | Mary McDonald

Top Interior Designers | Andrée Putman

Please don’t forget to leave a comment on Jean Nouvel work!

Source: jeannouvel.com
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Top Interior Designers Jean Nouvel