Blog 12 – Jean Nouvel’s One New Change
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 sixth building designed by my assigned architect, Jean Nouvel, that I chose for the blogs assignment is the One New Change. This building is a major 8 story office and retail construct in London. It has roughly 560,000 square feet of floor space, and is the only large shopping center located in the “City of London” i.e. the historic center of London. Completed in 2010 for £500 million, it lies on the street of New Change and continues the area’s historic association with trade and markets. The building is just across from St. Paul’s Cathedral, and its modern design wasn’t readily received during construction. Prince Charles even criticized it. The distinctive design has led many to calling it “the stealth bomber.” The building contains 60 shops and restaurants, including one opened by Gordon Ramsey in 2011. Personally, I think its nickname fits it quite well, having the jagged angles on the roof and façade. It appears to also use solar panels.