Pritzker Architecture Prize 2008 voor Jean Nouvel

De Franse architect Jean Nouvel (1945) ontvangt op 2 juni de prestigieuze Pritzker Architecture Prize. De prijs wordt jaarlijks toegekend aan een in leven zijnde architect wiens werk wordt gekenmerkt door kwaliteit, visie en toewijding, ontwerpen die omschreven kunnen worden als consistente en significante bijdragen aan de mensheid en de gebouwde omgeving. De prijs werd in 1979 ingesteld en werd dat jaar uitgereikt aan Philip Johnson, vorig jaar ontving Richard Rogers de prijs.

Uit het juryrapport: “Since establishing his Paris based practice in the 1970s, Nouvel has pushed himself, as well as those around him, to consider new approaches to conventional architectural problems. For Nouvel, in architecture there is no “style” a priori. Rather, a context, interpreted in the broadest sense to include culture, location, program and client, provokes him to develop a different strategy for each project.”


The manipulation of light and of layers of transparency and opacity are recurring themes” in Nouvel’s work. His Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute), built in Paris 1987, was designed with adjustable metal lenses embedded in its south-facing glass façade to control light to the interior, a modern twist on traditional Arab latticework. His Tour Sans Fins (Endless Tower) was selected as the winning entry of a 1989 competition to construct a skyscraper in the La Defense area near Paris. More important than the height of the proposed 400–meterhigh structure, intended, at the time, to be the tallest tower in Europe, was the building’s skin, which changed materials as it progressed upward—from granite to aluminum to stainless steel to glass—becoming increasingly diaphanous before disappearing into the sky. Here, as with the KKL Luzern (Cultural and Conference Center) of 2000 in Lucerne and the Fondation Cartier pourl’art Contemporain (Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art) of 1994 in Paris, dematerialization is made palpable.”