Rumors are flying that Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel has been selected to design the new National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) in Beijing. Although the official announcement isn’t due until November, Architectural Record has claimed that multiple, unidentified sources confirmed the news. If the reports are true, the French architect will have beat out fellow Pritzker Prize-winning architects Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid for the highly coveted commission. In a post-2008 Olympics attempt to attract more visitors to the area, the massive, 1.3 million square foot structure will be built next to the Herzog & de Meuron-designed Bird’s Nest. It will be one of three buildings planned for the area – the others being a museum dedicated to arts and crafts and a Sinology museum. Continue after the break to learn what may have given Nouvel the edge.
Renderings of Nouvel’s design have yet to be released, but according to Architectural Record the competition “came down to a head-to-head between Gehry and Nouvel, the latter presumably winning with a somewhat softer-edged proposal offering a pastiche of envelope treatments: steel cut in decorative patterns, stenciled glass recalling Chinese ink brushstrokes, and a splash of parametricism, all explained via references to ancient Chinese poetry and philosophy.” More than 150 international architects submitted proposals for the NAMOC in 2010. The submissions were narrowed down to 20 offices and then five finalists – Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Herzog & de Meuron (who withdrew from consideration) and Moshe Safdie. The NAMOC is expected to be completed by 2015. Reference: Architectural Record, Jing Daily Image via Flickr user Patrick Gage, licensed through Creative Commons.