Whether designing a condominium in Miami Beach or a museum in Abu Dhabi, Mr. Nouvel draws inspiration from what flows in and around the landscape.
The Pritzker Prize-winning French architect Jean Nouvel says all his fondest childhood memories revolve around the water. They include his family’s annual summer vacations to the Côte d’Azur, where he spent his days swimming in the sea, and his kayaking excursions down the Dordogne River, near Sarlat, the city in southwest France where he grew up.
Today, more than 60 years later, water is an integral element in many of Mr. Nouvel’s designs. Among them are Monad Terrace, a 59-residence bay-front condominium project in Miami Beach that features a honeycomb glass facade, a series of reflecting pools and a lagoon; and the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a dome-shaped building that looks like an island in the middle of the water. Much of his work — such as the Culture and Convention Center in Lucerne, Switzerland, and La Marseillaise, a skyscraper in the French port city of Marseille — is in waterfront locations.