France's Jean Nouvel was awarded the Pritzker Prize, nicknamed the "Architecture Nobel," as the jury acknowledged his "insatiable urge for creative experimentation". Nouvel's landmark works include the Arab World Institute in Paris.
Frenchman Jean Nouvel was rewarded with the 2008 Pritzker Architecture Prize, the industry's most prestigious annual award, on Sunday.
Nouvel, 62, will receive his honor -- often described as the "Nobel Prize of Architecture" -- and a 100,000-dollar grant at a ceremony in Washington on June 2, the Los Angeles-based Hyatt Foundation announced.
Foundation chairman Thomas Pritzker said the jury had rewarded Nouvel's "courageous pursuit of new ideas and his challenge of accepted norms in order to stretch the boundaries of the field."
"The jury acknowledged the 'persistence, imagination, exuberance, and, above all, an insatiable urge for creative experimentation' as qualities abundant in Nouvel's work," he said.
Nouvel said in the statement that his work sought to reflect "the modernity of our epoch as opposed to the rethinking of historical references."
"My work deals with what is happening now -- our techniques and materials, what we are capable of doing today," he said.
Nouvel is best known as the architect behind the Arab World Institute in Paris, which opened in 1987 after being commissioned by former French President Francois Mitterand.
The building is notable for its clever use of natural light. Adjustable metal lenses are embedded in one of the building's facades to control the amount of light allowed to the interior of the building.
Pritzker Prize jury chairman Peter Palumbo said Nouvel "had pushed himself, as well as those around him, to consider new approaches to conventional architectural problems."
Although the bulk of his work is in France, Nouvel has designed projects all over the world, including Japan, Spain, England, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and the United States.
Nouvel is only the second architect from France to be honored with the Pritzker. Christian de Portzamparc won the award in 1994.
Date created : 2008-03-30