About this talk

Running time: 28 minutes

Jean Nouvel is the leading figure among the French architects who were the product of the 1968 revolution, and he is certainly the most interesting architect in France today. He started to practice in Paris in 1970, and in 1981 he won the competition to design the first Presidential 'grand project' in the capital, the building for the Institut du Monde Arabe. In 1988 he was awarded the French Grand Prix d'Architecture for this building, and in 1989 it received an Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

Now in his mid-forties, he is a polemical innovator and a modernist whose work is expressed with 'high tech' construction. He avoids commonplace solutions, seeking rather to make symbolic statements within the context of his buildings. Light and transparency are their main ingredients. In this talk, which was recorded in his Paris office (hence the background sounds), he describes the Arab Institute as well as the first major block of flats he has built. Since making the recording, he has won the competition for the tallest office building in Europe, a circular tower to be erected at La Defense in Paris near the Grande Arche. He is also involved with the redevelopment plans for Kings Cross, London.

Please note that a transcript of this talk is available - please contact us for further details.

Jean Nouvel


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