French architect and urban planner whose distinctly modern and elegant designs reflect his sensitivity to and understanding of the greater urban environment. He was the first French architect to win the Pritzker Prize.
About his life
Christian de Portzamparc, (born May 5, 1944, Casablanca, Morocco). He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1962 to 1969. Soon after completing his studies, he set his mark on the landscape of the new town of Marne-la- Vallée with his Water Tower, a “poetic monument”.
In 1975, he designed a neighbourhood in Paris with 210 dwellings: Rue des Hautes-Formes was completed in 1980 and marked a turning-point in the history of urban design.
What are the main features of Christian de Portzamparc’s style?
Christian de Portzamparc works all over the world, theorising on the present and future of the city, fragmentation, a caseby- case approach and the “open block” concept. From an individual building to an entire neighbourhood, the city is fundamental to his work, which is dominated by three overlapping themes.
His work focuses on research over speculation and concerns the quality of life; aesthetics are conditioned by ethics, and he maintains that we have too often dissociated one from the other. Christian de Portzamparc focuses on all scales of construction, from simple buildings to urban re-think.
What are his most famous creations?
Most of his completed projects are in France, perhaps the most visible being the City of Music, a group of structures situated on the edge of the La Villette suburban park in Paris.
- 1971-1974 Château d’eau, Marne la Vallée
- 1975-1979 Les Hautes-Formes housing project, Paris
- 1983-1987 Paris Opera Ballet School, Nanterre
- 1985-1987 Beaubourg Cafe, Paris
- 1988-1990 Musée Bourdelle, Paris
- 1989-1991 Nexus II, Fukuoka, Japan
- 1984-1995 The City of Music, Paris
- 1991-1995 Crédit Lyonnais tower, Lille
- 1993-1999 Law courts, Courts of Justice, Grasse
- 1993-2006 Centre of science, library and museum “Les Champs Libres”, Rennes
- 1994-1999 Extension of the Palais des Congrès Porte Maillot, Paris
- 1995-1999 LVMH Tower, New York
- 1997-2003 Embassy of France, Berlin
- 2001-2004 Headquarters for the press group Le Monde, Paris
- 1997-2005 Philharmonie Luxembourg
- 2000-2006 “De Citadel”, housing and commercial centre Almere
- 2003-2013 Concert halls, cinema, school of music Cidade da Musica, Rio de Janeiro
- 2007-2009 Musée Hergé, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
- 2011–2013 One57, a 75-story hotel/condominium tower in New York City