Christian de Portzamparc is a leading architect and urban planner, who was awarded with the Pritzker Architecture Prize at the age of 50 as the first French winner and also with the most prestigious city planning prize in France, The Grand Prix de l’Urbanisme. His architectural style is known for its distinctive features such as bold designs, an artistic approach and the creativity that comes with him being a watercolor painter. De Portzamparc is well regarded for his projects that blend together classical forms, modernist radicalism, and postmodern, nonconformist approaches to design.
Christian de Portzamparc’s new architecture is of our time, bound neither by classicism nor modernism. His expanded perceptions and ideas seek answers beyond mere style. It is a new architecture characterized by seeing buildings, their functions and the life within them, in new ways that require wide-ranging, but thoughtful exploration for unprecedented solutions.
Every architect who aspires to greatness must in some sense reinvent architecture; conceive new solutions; develop a special design character; find a new aesthetic vocabulary. Portzamparc’s work exhibits all these characteristics. He has an unusually clear and consistent vision, devising highly original spaces that serve a variety of functions on an urban scale in the Cite’ de la Musique, or a more personal individual scale in a housing project or the delightfully chic Cafr Beaubourg.
He is a gifted composer using space, structure, texture, form, light and color all shaped by his personal vision. This reinvented architecture, no matter how idiosyncratic or original, still has its common source in modernism, appropriately assimilated.
His is an architecture that draws on French cultural tradition while paying homage to the master architect and countryman, Le Corbusier. It is a lyrical architecture that takes great risks and evokes excitement from its audience. Portzamparc is a high wire artist with sure and confident footwork. Recognizing the talent of a powerful poet of forms and creator of eloquent spaces, who is aware of the past.