Jean Nouvel is a French architect and planner. He trained at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and has headed his own architectural practice since 1970. His current firm, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, is one of the largest architectural practices in France, active in the fields of architecture, urban design, landscape design as well as industrial design and interior design.
Among Mr. Nouvel's principal completed buildings are the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the Lyon Opera House, the Cartier Foundation in Paris, the Galeries Lafayette in Berlin, the Dentsu Tower in Tokyo, the museum of archaeology in Périgueux, the Quai Branly museum in Paris, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Richemont Corporation headquarters in Geneva, the Symphonic House in Copenhagen and an apartment building 40 Mercer Street in New York, and the Doha Tower, shortlisted for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 13th cycle). Projects currently under study or construction at Ateliers Jean Nouvel include the city hall in Montpellier, a office building in the City of London, the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi, the Philharmonic Hall in Paris and the Tour de Verre in New York.
Mr. Nouvel's work has been widely published and exhibited, and his many honours and awards include the Pritzker Prize in 2008, the Gold Medal of the French Academy of Architecture, the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, honorary fellowships in the AIA, France's National Grand Prize for Architecture, Italy's Borromini Prize for the Lucerne Culture and Congress Center, Japan's Praemium Imperial Career Prize, the Wolf Prize and the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in architecture. Mr. Nouvel was the recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1989 for the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.
bin Mohammad Al Thani had met Jean Nouvel on the occasion of the retrospective
exhibition of the work of the architect at the Centre Pompidou in 2002 and
invited him to design a tower to fit into the vision for the development of
Doha. The Tower is a cylindrical volume that measures 45 metres in diameter.
The steel and concrete structure follows a diamond-shaped grid that bends along
the virtual surface of the cylinder. The facade uses a double-skin system. The
unique exterior skin is composed of four “butterfly” aluminium elements of
different scales and evokes the complexity of the mashrabiyya, while serving as protection from the sun. The pattern
varies according to the orientation and respective needs for solar protection.
The internal layer is a slightly reflective glass skin that completes the solar
protection. Thetower is accessible by a landscaped garden
sloping down to the large lobby under a glass awning surrounding the building.
This bias suggests that the tower is deeply rooted in the earth. Vegetation and
glass canopy overlap so to erase the boundaries between nature and the
environment created by man. A monumental atrium rises from the ground floor up
112 metres to level 27.