Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jean Nouvel's MoMA Tower

Best of Behind the Approval Matrix

A new 75-story tower designed by the architect Jean Nouvel for a site next to the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown promises to be the most exhilarating addition to the skyline in a generation. Its faceted exterior, tapering to a series of crystalline peaks, suggests an atavistic preoccupation with celestial heights. It brings to mind John Ruskin’s praise for the irrationality of Gothic architecture: “It not only dared, but delighted in, the infringement of every servile principle.”

Commissioned by Hines, an international real estate developer, the tower will house a hotel, luxury apartments and three floors that will be used by MoMA to expand its exhibition space. The melding of cultural and commercial worlds offers further proof, if any were needed, that Mr. Nouvel is a master at balancing conflicting urban forces. (NY Times)

Born in Fumel, Lot-et-Garonne, he was educated at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l'Architecture. In 2005, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art hosted a major retrospective of his works.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's daughter Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt was named after him, as Pitt is a fan of his work. (Wikipedia)

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