This month, we feature Jean Nouvel in our blog where we talk about the architects chasing the tree. Nouvel was born in Fumel, France on 12 August 1945. In his education life, Nouvel won first prize in an international competition to attend the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts school located in Paris, France.
He graduated in 1972 after completing his architectural education. One of the founders of the Mars 1976 movement, Nouvel soon became one of the key participants in intellectual debates about architecture in France.
Jean Nouvel received a number of prestigious awards including, in particular, the Aga Khan Award for the Arab World Institute located in Paris in 1989, and the Pritzker Prize with Torre Agbar project located in Barcelona in 2008.
Having developed projects in European, American and Asian continents, Jean Nouvel continues to practice in the architectural firm named Ateliers Jean Nouvel / AJN which he founded in 1994.
His Projects Notable with the Use of Wood-Based Products
One Central Park
Started to be constructed in 2008 in Sydney Australia, One Central Park was completed in 2014. There are 623 apartments in this project comprising two iconic towers, one of 116 meters and the other of 64.5 meters in height.
This structure was designed in collaboration with the French botanist and artist Patrick Blanc in terms of its landscaping part and almost 50% of its façade was covered with plants. While One Central Park provides a living environment for the residents of the building by vertically extending the influence of the adjacent park, it also forms a strong green icon for the silhouette of Sydney city.
In 2014, the project received the “Overall Winner” and “Best Sustainable Development of the Year” awards from Leaf Awards, the Design & Innovation and High Density Development awards from UDIA NSW Awards, and the International Green Infrastructure Award from the World Green Infrastructure Congress.
Started in 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil and still under construction, Torre Rosewood was designed as a 93-meter-high residence tower and hotel.
Privacy in the open working spaces within the tower was provided with wood-based products used by overlapping trees, shrubs, and curved branches.
Emphasizing that a tower must have roots just like a tree, Jean Nouvel regards Torre Rosewood as an extension of Matarazzo Park that it is connected to and prefers to use in the building the same species of trees as those found in the park.
Musee du quai Branly
Started to be constructed in Paris, the capital of France in 1999, the project was completed in 2006. This is a museum built around a specific region, where everything is designed to evoke an emotional response to the primary object, to protect it from light, but also to capture that rare ray of light indispensable to make it vibrate and awaken its spirituality. A place that is unique and strange, poetic and unsettling, the Musee du quai Branly has an unexpected character with its infrastructure challenging the current Western creative expressions. The most advanced techniques were used to obtain this result. Windows are very large and very transparent; and tall randomly-placed pillars can be mistaken for trees or totems; and the wooden sunscreens support photovoltaic cells.
Attaching importance to the use of wood-based products apart from the buildings that he designs, the architect also designs a substantial part of the furniture used in his buildings. Having established a design company under the name of Jean Nouvel Design in 1995, Jean Nouvel designed this company as a force to complement his architectural firm, Ateliers Jean Nouvel.
His works follow the tradition of philosopher-architects designing whole worlds of all dimensions; and an architect, Jean Nouvel is also a designer who rejects labels. Saying that he does not see any difference between when he draws a chair or when he imagines a building, Jean Nouvel has revealed his perspective on architecture and design.
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