Jean Nouvel is the most famous of the generation of architects known as “The New Wave of French Architects”, all of whom participated, during the era of President Mitterand, in “Les Grands Projets” in Paris. Nouvel’s contribution, the Institut du Monde Arabe, 1987 (“The Arab Institute”) was one of these famous monuments, and it positioned him as one of the most influential figures in the French high-tech architecture movement.
Jean Nouvel’s view of architecture is simple, although his formal language is complex: each new situation requires a new architecture.
For Nouvel, Louisiana is an intimate and intense monument to this kind of thinking and that is why with this exhibition he uses the setting of the museum to visualize and pass on his thoughts about the nature of architecture.
The exhibition Jean Nouvel – Louisiana Manifesto, curated by the architect himself, has been conceived
as a manifesto of Nouvel’s thoughts and ideas about architecture. It has been created as a collaboration of Ateliers Jean Nouvel, the guest curator Jean-Louis Froment and Louisiana.
The aim of the exhibition is to demonstrate the fundamental architectural principle of a strong dialogue
with the spirit and specific character of a place that forms the point of departure for every Nouvel project. After several visits to Louisiana, which is itself very much rooted in the idea of the genius loci – the spirit
of the place – in the setting of the museum Jean Nouvel visualizes the discovery and experience of the
place as filmic sequences mixed with his own story. The exhibition will thus enter into a dialogue with
the architecture and unique siting of the museum.
Louisiana Manifesto gives an account of Nouvel’s view of architecture, and with the exhibition the
architect wishes to challenge our sensory response to and understanding of his way of experiencing architecture. “Each new situation requires a new architecture,” is one of his early mottoes, for architecture – in Nouvel’s opinion – means relating and responding to the place that already exists, listening to the given with all one’s senses and interacting with the physical-concrete and the historical-symbolic surroundings. The task of the architect is to encompass everything from the concrete sense-impression and memory through empathy to vision. To demonstrate this he uses Louisiana as a model example of all the things
he considers to be important preconditions for creating good architecture. And this forms the basis of the design of the exhibition.
Lucerne, Switzerland, 2000