Jean Nouvel today has one of the biggest architecture offices in France. With a wide variety of bold designs, he implements a new architecture separate from the modernist movement and postmodernism.

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Son of two teachers, Jean Nouvel was born in Fumel in Lot-et-Garonne, France, on August 12, 1945. His family began to move frequently when his father became the chief superintendent of the local schools.

“Each new situation requires a new architecture.”

From the beginning his parents encouraged him to study mathematics and languages, but Nouvel had always been interested in the arts, and at 16 years of age, he had a deeper contact when he learned to draw with one of his teachers.

Influences

After not gaining acceptance to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, he moved to Paris, where he won first place in a national competition to enter the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts.

Between 1967 and 1970 he worked as assistant to the architects Claude Parent and Paul Virilio, who after a year, already designated him as project manager in charge of a large apartment complex.

Nouvel completed his course at age 25 and soon started his own partnership with François Seigneur. Between 1972 and 1984, he had 3 different partnerships with Lezen Gilbert, Jean-François Guyot, and Pierre Soria. In 1985, he formed the Jean Nouvel et Associés in 1988 and the JNec. His office works, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, was formed in 1994 with Michel Pélissié.

Works

Historically, Jean Nouvel has worked to create a stylistic language separate from the foundations of modernism and post-modernism. For this, he began each project with a mind free of preconceived ideas. Although at times he strays from traditional forms, Nouvel creates buildings that go beyond the traditional parameters.

Nouvel holds great concern for the environment of his projects, seeking a harmony between the work and its context. He consistently presents a fusion of elements of shadow, light and transparency.

“I am a hedonist, and I want to give pleasure to other people.”

Nemausus, Nimes, France

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Pierre et Vacances, Cap d’Ail, France

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

40 mercer Soho Residences, New York, USA

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Euralille, Lille, France

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Gasometer, Vienna, Austria

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Mulhouse - Cité Manifeste, Mulhouse, France

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Foundation Cognac-Jay, Rueil Malmaison, France

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Aquatic Complex, Le Havre, France

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Brembo Technical Center, Bergamo, Italy

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Fondation Cartier, Paris, France

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Agbar Tower, Barcelona, Spain

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

La Defense, Paris, France

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Andel Building, Prague, Czech Republic

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Galleries Lafayette, Berlin, Germany

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Technology Center, Wismar, Germany

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Arab World Institute, France

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

CLMBBDO, France

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Guthrie Theater, USA

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Law Courts, France

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Expo 02, Switzerland

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Culture and Convention Center, Lucern, Switzerland

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Reina Sofia Museum Extension, Madrid, Spain

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Dubai Opera House, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

Copenhagen Concert Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

ONYX, Saint Herblain, France

Architect Day: Jean Nouvel

About the author of this post

My name is Marcelo Seferin, I’m an architect from Porto Alegre, Brazil and I’m the chief architect at Seferin Arquitetura, an office that works with architecture, interior design and sustainability projects.