10 Jean Nouvel Buildings We Love

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By Byron Loker / Published by Dwell
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French Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel is credited by the New York Times in a profile piece as "exceptionally good at allowing a building to take on a personality of its own."

Sometimes controversially received, Nouvel's intentions with his buildings—in his own words—is to access "...the poétique of the situation. I am a hedonist, and I want to give pleasure to other people." Here is a sample of some of the 71-year-old architect's most influential designs throughout his illustrious career. To find out more about the work done by his firm Ateliers Jean Nouvel, visit his website.

Torre Agbar in Barcelona, Spain

Inspired by the shape of a geyser rising into the air, as well as Montserrat, a mountain range near Barcelona, Torre Agbar is the headquarters of Aguas de Barcelona (Agbar), Spain's municipal water company.

Inspired by the shape of a geyser rising into the air, as well as Montserrat, a mountain range near Barcelona, Torre Agbar is the headquarters of Aguas de Barcelona (Agbar), Spain's municipal water company.

Opened in 1987, the Nouvel’s Institut du Monde Arabe is made up of light-sensitive apertures that are inspired by traditional oriel windows—or enclosed balconies—which are used in Islamic architecture.

Opened in 1987, the Nouvel’s Institut du Monde Arabe is made up of light-sensitive apertures that are inspired by traditional oriel windows—or enclosed balconies—which are used in Islamic architecture.

100 Eleventh Avenue in New York City 

Jean Nouvel called this 23-story residential tower a "vision machine." Each windowpane rests inside a series of "mega-panels" that are tilted at different angles, offering slightly different degrees of transparency.

Jean Nouvel called this 23-story residential tower a "vision machine." Each windowpane rests inside a series of "mega-panels" that are tilted at different angles, offering slightly different degrees of transparency.

Nouvel won a competition that let to him renovating the original opera house. Melding both the past and present, his project increased interior space, added an underground practice hall, and doubled the building's height with a steel-and-glass vault.  

Nouvel won a competition that let to him renovating the original opera house. Melding both the past and present, his project increased interior space, added an underground practice hall, and doubled the building's height with a steel-and-glass vault.  

Known for its amazing acoustics, this venue was named one of the 10 greatest concert halls of the new millennium by Gramophone magazine. Nouvel worked with Japanese acoustic specialist Yasuhisa Toyota to achieve this.

Known for its amazing acoustics, this venue was named one of the 10 greatest concert halls of the new millennium by Gramophone magazine. Nouvel worked with Japanese acoustic specialist Yasuhisa Toyota to achieve this.

Building C1 Boulogne Billancourt in Bolougne, France

Situated on the Seine river, C1 Building houses shops and offices with rooftop terraces and gardens. Planted esplanades and high terraces give the impression of a green island, while a retractable panel at the top of the structure extends to cover the rooftop garden.

Situated on the Seine river, C1 Building houses shops and offices with rooftop terraces and gardens. Planted esplanades and high terraces give the impression of a green island, while a retractable panel at the top of the structure extends to cover the rooftop garden.

Situated on the site of a once derelict brewery, this Photo courtesy Central Park Sydneygreen residential tower is the centerpiece of a masterplan to revitalize downtown Sydney. The cantilevered reflector lends light to shaded areas below.

Situated on the site of a once derelict brewery, this Photo courtesy Central Park Sydneygreen residential tower is the centerpiece of a masterplan to revitalize downtown Sydney. The cantilevered reflector lends light to shaded areas below.

The Philharmonie de Paris, located in the Parc de La Villette, arrived amid much controversy, given that it was two-years late and three-times over budget. It consists of bird-shaped tiles that are interlocked and spread across the building's facade.

The Philharmonie de Paris, located in the Parc de La Villette, arrived amid much controversy, given that it was two-years late and three-times over budget. It consists of bird-shaped tiles that are interlocked and spread across the building's facade.

Cypress Tower in Nicosia, Cyprus

As with many of Nouvel's designs, Cyprus Tower, a high-rise building located in the center of Nicosia, is ready-made with sprouts of greenery. Landscaping covers 80 percent of the building's southern facade.

As with many of Nouvel's designs, Cyprus Tower, a high-rise building located in the center of Nicosia, is ready-made with sprouts of greenery. Landscaping covers 80 percent of the building's southern facade.

Planned to open in 2019, this luxury hotel will be adjoined to a former maternity hospital. The tower will be covered with greenery and filled with interiors designed by Philippe Starck.

Planned to open in 2019, this luxury hotel will be adjoined to a former maternity hospital. The tower will be covered with greenery and filled with interiors designed by Philippe Starck.