The quest of Jean Nouvel’s work is to create a unique concept for a singular combination of people, place and time. His contextual approach and ability to infuse a genuine uniqueness into all the projects he undertakes have consistently yielded buildings that transform their environments and indelibly mark the cities in which they are built.

Who is Jean Nouvel ?

Master architect since the seventies, Jean Nouvel is at the origin of many inescapable creations in France and all over the world. His works have gained world-wide recognition through numerus prestigious French and International prizes and rewards.

In 1989, the Arab World Institute in Paris was awarded the Aga-Khan Prize because of its role as “a successful bridge between French and Arab cultures”.

In 2000, Jean Nouvel received the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale.

In 2001, he received three of the highest international awards: the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Praemium Imperiale of Japan’s Fine Arts Association and the Borromini Prize for the Culture and Conference Center in Lucerne.

He was pointed Doctor Honoris Causa of the Royal College of Art in London in 2002 and he was the recipient of the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2008.

Its luminous, creative and singular architectures often emphasize the ecological aspect. The achievements offer a lot of brightness and transparency and integrate into the landscape but more than this, Jean Nouvel considers the cultural buildings as living spaces. For him, a museum is a neighbourhood rather than a building.

The Louvre in Abbu Dhabi is a concrete example of this philosophy. It looks like a Greek agora. Jean Nouvel has created a micro climate in a place where the temperatures are so heigh. Hence this immense umbrella of the white dome. The water from the sea that comes in everywhere also brings freshness, like a fresh breeze. It is not a simple Moucharabieh, but an 8-layer foliage that makes the natural light always different. It’s like a palm grove.

Jean Nouvel himself says he is a contextual architect, who takes into account civilization. For him, it is not a matter of copying the spirit of the surrounding buildings, but of seeking the uniqueness and purpose of the place.

Architecture: his achievements on the French Riviera

On the French Riviera, many architectural buildings are signed by Jean Nouvel.

The architect undertook the transformation of the former military fort of Mont-boron in Nice. The municipality had repurchased from the Ministry of Defence this former military base built in 1884. The purpose of the project was to rehabilitate the site to set up a workshop for creation, training and exhibition on architecture. Jean Nouvel wanted to make this semi-buried fort a space for further creation of his Parisian workshop. The battery of Mount Boron will become a meeting place between architects and a creative laboratory designed to promote architectural research in connection with the Mediterranean.

On the west side of Nice, two buildings “Pleiades” (building of seventeen floors) and “Odyssey” (Building of ten floors) are part of the development plan “Nice-Méridia”. The architecture respects the necessities of sustainable development in the choice of materials, the process of water treatment, the installation of solar panels and the use of solar radiation.

La Bananeraie of Eze

La Bananeraie is part of that special places where life is good, a halt in a restless world where time seems to be stopped to taste happiness. The mythic building belongs to Èze, it is located close to the beach in front of the station, on the lower Corniche. Its site is crossed by a pedestrian path that is borrowed by the inhabitants of the villas on the mountain side. This path is connected to the underpass, under the rail way lines, which arrive at the Pebble Beach.

Jean Nouvel wanted to preserve and affirm the singularities of the place. The future inhabitants will live in the heart of green nature surrounded by banana trees and endogenous pines and shrubs.

The central space in the open ground is a large patio-garden. High-stem trees and bananas decorate a vision on dense and complex vegetation while preserving the distant view of the apartments on the sea floors.

The facade of the ‘Bananeraie’ will be preserved. The windows, whose proportions are preserved, are equipped with wooden venetian blinds of the same nature and colour as the original louvers which will also equip the lateral openings.

The architectural composition with the new buildings is orthogonal in the geometric logic of the neighbouring buildings. The architectural typologies essentially regain the two-slope roof of the building in harmonious proportions. The roofs treated with thin-wave claddings resume the principle of constructions of the Caribbean with an air circulation between two parallel planes. The polychromy is inspired by the existing colours of the ‘Bananeraie’ building: Very pale washed yellows, orange brick colours and always washed out, a lime-green very nice for the shutters but also for the roofing fasteners along the waves.

The loggia terraces are closed by louvers in the plane of the guardrails and the interior and exterior glazing. So the rhythms will be very varied, differentiated by their openings according to the hours and the seasons.

The theme of banana leaves very drawn by very fine lines in full and unrelated attenuated could mark in some places the lateral walls and characterize the marking of some angles in relation to climbing plants.

Also has been maintained the juice Bar with beautiful terraces a half level above the street.

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