Jean Nouvel Wins Pritzker Prize

Pritzker jury praises Guthrie designer Jean Nouvel's 'inquisitive mind'
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2008 2:45 AM CDT
The Stone Arch Bridge over the Mississippi River is reflected in one of the Guthrie Theater's mirrors. Architect Jean Nouvel, who designed the building, won the 2008 Pritzker Architecture Prize.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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(Newser) – 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.