Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel ( born August 12, 1945 in Fumel, France ) is a French architect and winner of the Pritzker Prize.

Life and work

Jean Nouvel is the son of a teacher couple. First, he wanted to be a painter, but because his parents a secure future for her son was more important, he studied from 1964 as a compromise architecture at the Ecole des Beaux- Arts de Bordeaux. When he won a scholarship in 1966, he could switch to the École nationale supérieure des beaux -arts de Paris. Towards the end of his studies he founded in 1970 with François Seigneur his first office. His degree was in the next year. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the architectural movement "Mars 1976 " and " Syndicat de l'Architecture ."

The breakthrough came with the Nouvel -designed together with the architectural firm Architecture Studio Cultural Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. Other famous buildings are the Opera of Lyon, the Fondation Cartier in Paris, the shopping center Euralille in Lille, Galeries Lafayette Berlin, the Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne and the monolith, the sponge during the Expo 02 on Lake Murten. At Nouvel's recent projects have included the 142 -meter-high Torre Agbar in Barcelona, ​​the extension to the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid and the ( unrealized ) Guggenheim museums in Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.

In 1994 he founded the " Ateliers Jean Nouvel ", with 140 employees in 2006 included the largest architectural firms in France. Currently be cared for by 40 projects at home and abroad. The main studio is in Paris, next to Nouvel still operates offices in London, Copenhagen, Minneapolis, Rome, Madrid and Barcelona.

For the leather manufacturing Italian furniture company Matteo Grassi Nouvel designed office equipment, furniture and lounges including for airports.

Nouvel has two adult sons from his first marriage and a daughter from his second marriage. His partner is the Swedish architect Mia Hägg (* 1970).


Jean Nouvel is one of the most famous architects in France and was able throughout Europe and also in parts of Asia, North and South America to work on projects. He is, among others, the New York Times opinion as a versatile designer and mastered the use of colors, materials and finishes. His style does not stand out due to a unified form language, but is always ready to adapt the building to the respective environment. " Every time I try to find what I call the missing piece of the puzzle, the right building in the right place."


A Gasometer in Vienna

Expanded Opéra de Lyon, 1993 roof

Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne

Hotel Puerta América, Madrid

Galeries Lafayette Berlin

Department store Zlatý anděl, Prague

Musée du quai Branly

Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis

Copenhagen Concert Hall

Buildings and Projects (selection)

  • Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, 1981-1987
  • Nemausus 1 - Social housing in Nimes, 1986
  • Galeries Lafayette Berlin, Friedrichstrasse, 1991-1995
  • Construction of the Kurhaus of Dax, 1992
  • Construction of the Lyon Opera House within the protected, completely gutted façade of the old Opéra National de Lyon, 1993
  • Fondation Cartier in Paris, 1994
  • Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne, 1993-1999
  • Design Hotel "The Hotel - Deluxe Boutique Hotel ", Lucerne, 1999-2000
  • Monolith while the Swiss Expo 02 (temporary construction)
  • Facade of the Cologne tower in Cologne, 2001
  • Gasometer A in Simmering, 2001
  • Torre Agbar in Barcelona, ​​2004
  • Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, 2006
  • " Les Bains des Docks ," water park in Le Havre, 2008
  • Project of a new Guggenheim Museum in Rio de Janeiro (2002, due to political opposition not realized )
  • Concert Hall Copenhagen, 2009
  • Project " Louvre Abu Dhabi " ( in planning)
  • Pavilion Serpentine Gallery, London, 2010
  • Uniqua hotel and office building in Vienna, 2010
  • Larry Gagosian Gallery in Le Bourget, 2012 ( Conversion of a Industsriehalle and installation of a mezzanine floor for exhibition purposes Gagosian Gallery )
  • Philharmonie de Paris at the Parc de la Villette in Paris ( 2014 )
  • " Tour Signal " in Paris, La Défense (until 2013)
  • Domed Louvre in Abu Dhabi ( 2015 )

Awards (excerpt)


  • Nemausus - Social housing of the 80s. Documentation, France, 1995, 26 min, Director: Richard Copans, Stan Neumann, Production: ARTE France, Les Films d' Ici, Serge Lalou, Row: architecture, Summary of arte with online video excerpt ( 2:52 Min. ).