Shortlist of the most prominent French architects and urban planners of the contemporary era. They seek to build landscapes rather than buildings.
An engineer and architect by training, Paul Andreu began his career under the tutelage of the famous Othello Zavaroni and Paul Lamarche. A member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts since 1996, he has completed projects in Asia, Europe, Africa, and America. His most famous buildings are the Osaka Maritime Museum and the Abu Dhabi Airport.
A Chinese citizen since 1984, Jean-Marie Charpentier is a French architect and urban planner. In 1969, he founded Arte Charpentier, an architectural firm that brings together Architecture, Research, Technique and Environment and works mainly in China. Charpentier is the mastermind behind the Shanghai Opera House and the Oxygen Tower in Lyon.
With her unique style that veers between 1960s pop art and sculptural influences, Manuelle Gautrand is one of the most prominent architects of the contemporary era. She has designed the Espace Citroën in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in Lille, the Gaité Lyrique, and the La Coupole cultural complex in Saint-Louis. Since 1991, she has had her own architectural firm, Manuelle Gautrand Architecture.
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After working for several years with the German architect and urban planner Finn Geipel, under the name of LABFAC, Nicolas Michelin founded his own architectural firm, Agence Nicolas Michelin et associés, in 2000. His architectural style plays with the concepts of natural economy, adaptability, and the tension between the ordinary and the extraordinary. His main achievements include the Artem in Nancy and the Théâtre de la Piscine in Châtenay-Malabry.
Since 1974, Jean Nouvel has worked on his own account. In 1987, he completed the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, an architectural tour de force that won him numerous awards. A humble architect, he refuses to proclaim that he has a style, but his signatures include the play of light and the amalgam of metal and glass.
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Perrault made his mark in 1989 when he won the competition for the National Library of France. Following the construction of this imposing pavilion, his reputation continues to grow. He is known for the Velodrome and the swimming pool of the Berlin Olympic complex, the Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, and the Fukoku Tower in Osaka. His approach is deeply linked to urbanism and seeks to build landscapes rather than buildings.
Christian de Portzamparc
Of Moroccan origin, Christian de Portzamparc is one of the best-known French architects of the contemporary era. In 1994, he became the first Frenchman to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize. Known for the concept of the open island, he has designed the Palais des congrès de Paris, the French Embassy in Berlin, the Cité de musique de Paris, the Musée Hergé and the École de danse de l’Opéra de Paris.
Widely associated with the deconstructivist architectural movement in France, Borel works with volumes and broken lines. His major projects include the École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris-Val de Seine, the Immeuble 131 rue des Récollets in Paris and the University of Agen.
Working mainly in Europe and Japan, Patrick Berger is an architect, urban planner, researcher, and furniture designer. His best-known work is La Canopée and the Halles district of Paris. Patrick Berger often works in collaboration with Jacques Anziutti.
A graduate of the École supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and Harvard University, Jean-Paul Viguier is the co-founder of the Unité pédagogique d’architecture n°5, a French architecture school. His agency, Jean-Paul Viguier et associés, has won numerous international awards. His major achievements include the Sofitel Hotel in Chicago, the Tour Cœur Défense in Paris and his participation in the Parx André-Citroën in Paris.
Best known for his work in interior design, Wilmotte has designed the interior apartments of the Élysée Palace, the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Nîmes City Hall, among others. His company, Agence Wilmotte, has more than 200 employees and works in some 20 countries.