Exploring Architecture

Wednesday 11 October 2017 - Auditorium

7.30 p.m.
Rencontre architecture MoMA G. Lowry - J. Novel
Exploring Architecture

On the opening day of the exhibition Being Modern: MoMA in Paris, Glenn D. Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art, speaks with Jean Nouvel. The architect of 53W53, the MoMA expansion tower housing new museum galleries, will be completing the Abu Dhabi Louvre building in a few weeks.


This talk is moderated by Jean-Louis Cohen, historian, architect, visiting professor at the Collège de France and Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture at the Institute of Fine Art/New York University.


Note: Elizabeth Diller, initially scheduled to take part in the debate, will be unable to attend.


the speakers

Glenn D. Lowry

Director of The Museum of Modern Art

Glenn D. Lowry became the sixth director of The Museum of Modern Art in 1995. He leads a staff of over 750 people and directs an active program of exhibitions, acquisitions, and publications.

A strong advocate of contemporary art, he has lectured and written extensively in support of contemporary art and artists and the role of museums in society, among other topics.

He is a member of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Board of Trustees, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a resident member of the American Philosophical Society. He also serves on the advisory council of the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and is a Trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD). In 2004, the French government honored Mr. Lowry with the title of Officier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Born in 1954 in New York City and raised in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Mr. Lowry received a B.A. degree (1976) magna cum laude from Williams College, Williamstown, and M.A. (1978) and Ph.D. (1982) degrees in history of art from Harvard University.

Jean Nouvel


After studying at the École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, Jean Nouvel was admitted first to the entrance examination for the École Nationale Supéieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1966 and graduated in 1972. After initially working as an assistant to architect Claude Parent, and inspired by urbanist and essayist Paul Virilio, he opened his first agency in 1970. Shortly thereafter, he co-founded the “Mars 1976” movement, which fought the corporatism of architects, then the Syndicat de l’Architecture.  

His staunch positions on the integration of architecture into the urban context and the unrelenting originality of his projects worldwide have helped forge his international reputation.

His original approach, defying stylistic considerations, is guided exclusively by context – the moment, the site, its history, its environment. In 2001, he received three of the highest international honours: the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Praemium Imperiale awarded by the Japan Art Association, and the Borromini Prize for the Lucerne Culture and Convention Center. He was named Doctor Honoris Causa of the Royal College of Art in London in 2002. Three years later, in Israel, he received the annual Wolf Foundation Prize “for providing a new model of contextualism and redefining the dialectic between the two salient characteristics of contemporary architecture: concreteness and ephemerality”. In Frankfurt the following year, ​​he received the International Highrise Award for the Torre Agbar in Barcelona, “as it makes an outstanding contribution to the current debate on high-rises at several different levels”. In 2008, he received the prestigious Pritzker Prize. In France, he has been awarded numerous honours, including the French Academy of Architecture Gold Medal, two Équerres d’Argent and the French Grand Prix National for Architecture.    

Jean-Louis Cohen

Historian and architect

Jean-Louis Cohen is an architect and historian, the author of many works on architecture and cities from the 19th century to present day. In 1994, he was named the Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture at the New York University Institute of Fine Arts, and is also a Visiting Professor at the Collège de France. In 1997, France’s Ministry of Culture charged him with creating La Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine (City of Architecture and Heritage), where he managed two departments: the Institut français d'architecture (French Architectural Institute) until 2004, and Le Musée des Monuments français (French Monuments Museum) until 2003.

Jean-Louis Cohen has designed and overseen many exhibitions, including The Lost Vanguard at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City (2007). At the Centre Georges Pompidou, he was responsible for the architecture of Paris-Moscow (1979) and served as Scientific Advisor for L'aventure le Corbusier (1987).

The essential

Wednesday 11 October 2017
7.30 p.m. - Auditorium


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