French architect Christian de Portzamparc has been named the 2018 laureate of the the Praemium Imperiale Arts Award for Architecture. The prize, given by by the Japan Art Association (JAA), recognized de Portzamparc for his “imaginative architectural style...known for its distinctive features such as bold designs, an artistic approach and the creativity that comes from his work as a watercolor painter.”
Christian De Portzamparc
Born on the 5th of May 1944 in what was at the time the French Protectorate of Morocco, French architect Christian de Portzamparc had doubts about continuing with architecture while studying in the 1960s, questioning modernist ideals and the discipline's lack of freedom compared to art. Instead, he spent a decade attempting to understand the role of architecture, before returning triumphantly with a new model of iterative urban design that emphasized open neighborhoods based around landmark "poles of attraction" and a varied series of high-profile commissions that combine a sense of purpose and place.
The Pritzker Prize is the most important award in the field of architecture, awarded to a living architect whose built work "has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture." The Prize rewards individuals, not entire offices, as took place in 2000 (when the jury selected Rem Koolhaas instead of his firm OMA) or in 2016 (with Alejandro Aravena selected instead of Elemental); however, the prize can also be awarded to multiple individuals working together, as took place in 2001 (Herzog & de Meuron), 2010 (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA), and 2017 (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes).
The award is an initiative funded by Jay Pritzker through the Hyatt Foundation, an organization associated with the hotel company of the same name that Jay founded with his brother Donald in 1957. The award was first given in 1979, when the American architect Philip Johnson, was awarded for his iconic works such as the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.
The Pritzker Prize has been awarded for almost forty straight years without interruption, and there are now 18 countries with at least one winning architect. To date, half of the winners are European; while the Americas, Asia, and Oceania share the other twenty editions. So far, no African architect has been awarded, making it the only continent without a winner.
Of the Pritzker Prize’s illustrious list of laureates, the 1994 winner Christian de Portzamparc is perhaps the least covered by the media. However, this relatively low profile belies the subtle and insightful understanding of architectural and urban issues that in many ways puts him decades ahead of the curve – with the sociologically-led principles he has been developing since the early 1980s now becoming widely popular in architectural circles. In this interview, the latest in Vladimir Belogolovsky’s “City of Ideas” column, Portzamparc explains the journey that led to this unique take on architecture.
The La Défense district of Paris has announced the proposal of seven new skyscrapers by top architects including Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Foster + Partners and Christian de Portzamparc in an attempt to lure business to the city during a time of economic upheaval in the European markets.
All planned for completion no later than 2022, the new buildings would target international businessmen and researchers, especially those displaced following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
Architect Christian de Portzamparc has completed construction on the new House of Dior in Seoul, South Korea. The building, which houses designs by Christian Dior, is based off of watercolor paintings and the concept of experimentation with light and shadows.
If you are a regular ArchDaily reader you know that we have been providing ongoing coverage of Eli Broad’s Broad Museum in Los Angeles. Nearly 120,000 sqf and $130 million dollars, invitations were given to six top architects to submit designs for the new museum. Rem Koolhaas, Herzog and de Meuron, Christian de Portzamparc, Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Foreign Office Architects competed and in August we informed you that Diller Scofidio + Renfro garnered the commission.
Today, the design for the Broad Museum has been released. Situated adjacent to Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and Arata Isozaki’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the museum has become a key part of the Grand Avenue redevelopment project that has been losing steam.
Being awarded the Pritzker means you’ve hit it big. Having that ribbon placed around your neck proves you’re top dog in the architecture world and you’ve practically become a household name….doesn’t it? While that may seem that case for Gehry and Hadid, even Piano and Meier, the Pritzker’s seventeenth honoree, (France’s first laureate, in fact) Christian de Portzamparc sometimes feels forgotten.
After two years of construction, the Musée Hergé designed by Christian de Portzamparc is complete. Situated in a forest and connected by a footbridge to Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, the museum is dedicated to Belgian artist and Tintin author Hergé. The museum highlights Hergé’s life and works through cultural facilities, permanent and temporary exhibition areas, and a video projection room.
Images and more about the museum after the break.
The La Defense is a 160 ha business district in the west of Paris, currently under a renewal plan to strengthen its place among the great international business districts. The plan is managed by the EPAD (The Public Establishment for Installation of La Défense), an organization formed by local authorities, government and neighbors focused on developing the La Defense for the best interests of its 20.000 residents and 150.000 inhabitants in floating population.
The renewal includes several high rise sustainable towers. One of this towers, the Tour Signal, entered an international closed competition for teams of architects/investors/developers, on which EPAD didn’t impose a site. The candidates were thus able to choose their sites either from among the entrances to the business district (South Gate and West Gate), either from sites subject to demolition operations. The Tour Signal will thus endow the business district with a new landmark in 2013.
And a few days ago, the winner was announced: Ateliers Jean Nouvel, project shown on the video above.
More pictures of the Jean Nouvel proposal, and the rest of the candidates/finalists after the jump.