Nouvel scoops Pritzker prize

French architect Jean Nouvel will pick up the Pritzker Prize in June, worth $100 000 (£50 000). In financial terms, the Pritzker is the biggest architecture award in the world.

Recognised for his eclectic style, Nouvel established his first practice in Paris in 1973, coming to international attention in 1987 with the completion of the French capital’s Institut du Monde Arabe.

Recent work includes a 75-storey tower next to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Torre Agbar in Barcelona. This 38-storey tower was built in 2005, and goes by nicknames including the ‘suppository’ and the ‘shell’.

Nouvel is currently working on a 45-storey luxury residential tower in Los Angeles, which is intended to resemble a vertical garden.

His current UK work includes office and retail development One New Change, adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Nouvel is collaborating with Norman Foster on a second office and retail development, Walbrook Square, also near St Paul’s.

The Pritzker Prize is administered by the Hyatt Foundation, the charitable arm of hotel chain Hyatt, in the US.

The foundation chairman, and the prize’s benefactor, Thomas Pritzker, says the jury acknowledges Nouvel’s ‘courageous pursuit of new ideas and his challenge of accepted norms in order to stretch the boundaries of the field’. Among the jury is Lord Palumbo, former chairman of the Arts Council.

Nouvel will collect the prize on 2 June at the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

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