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Light, geometry and symbolism: how Jean Nouvel’s architecture reimagines culture

The renowned French architect Jean Nouvel begins his ambitious projects with small, sparse sketches that capture the essence of his ideas. When he finishes, he has generally created some of the most thoughtful and celebrated works of modern architecture in the world. While Nouvel’s portfolio – which includes such iconic buildings as the Arab World Institute (Institut du monde arabe) in Paris and the Doha Tower in Qatar – is diverse, his work is characterised by an interplay of light, geometry and symbolism that reflects both the culture of a building’s surroundings and its interior life. As premiered at the 54th New York Film Festival, Jean Nouvel: Reflections is both a visually stunning career retrospective, and an argument for how successful architecture should, in Nouvel’s words, ‘reflect a culture in a said instant’. (Meanwhile, critics of the projects in Doha and Abu Dhabi have pointed out reports of abuse of the migrant workers doing much of the construction work.)

Director: Matt Tyrnauer

Producer: Corey Reeser

Website: Altimeter Films

4 November 2016

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