The French designer of the Arab World Institute in Paris and Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater has won architecture's top award, the Pritzker Prize, reports the New York Times. Jean Nouvel’s projects "greatly expanded the vocabulary of contemporary architecture,” the Pritzker jury noted. “His inquisitive and agile mind propels him to take risks in each of his projects."
Nouvel, only the second French citizen to earn the award, will receive a $100,000 grant to be presented in June in Washington. His work defies categorization, the Times notes, but is always "strikingly distinctive." Each time "I try to find what I call the missing piece of the puzzle—the right building in the right place,” the 62-year-old said. His works-in-progress include a satellite of the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi and a high-rise condominium in Los Angeles.