Blog 8 – Jean Nouvel’s 100 Eleventh Avenue
Before I get into this building, I’ll provide some background on my “star-chitect” Jean Nouvel. Born on August 12th, 1945, in Fumel, France, he was encouraged from a young age to study math and language for their job prospects, but he became enraptured by art in his teenage years. He later said his family compromised with him, allowing Jean to pursue architecture since it was considered “less risky”. Failing to gain entrance to a prestigious arts school, Nouvel moved to Paris where he won a national competition that allowed him entrance to the school he had been denied from. He then became an assistant to a pair of French architects, who made him a project manager within one year. By age 25, Nouvel was in his own architecture partnership, and he was off to become a key participant in architecture debates within France.
The second building designed by my assigned architect, Jean Nouvel, that I chose for the blogs assignment is known as 100 Eleventh Avenue. It is located at the intersection of West Side Highway (Eleventh Avenue) and 19th street in Manhattan, New York City, but the area can also be considered part of Chelsea, New York. Having a highly advanced and crazy-awesome looking curtain wall, Jean Nouvel described it as a “vision machine,” considering it a conceptual lineage of his Arab World Institute in Paris and very site-specific. By 2008 construction was $50 million over budget, including $6 million extra tacked on for concrete foundation alone, but investors maintained interest, allowing it to be completed in 2010. The building is directly across the street of Frank Gehry’s IAC Building which has a beautiful flowing glass façade. 100 Eleventh Avenue is a 23 story apartment and condominium tower, but perhaps the most interesting part of the building is an atrium called “The Loggia.” In this atrium sit fully grown trees that seem to float in mid-air. This combined with the exceptional curtain wall make this building, in my opinion, easily rival in design the building next to it of the legendary Frank Gehry.