“Courageous” French architect named as winner of prestigious international award

French architect Jean Nouvel has been named the 32nd Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, in the 30th year of the award.

The prize, established to make up for the absence of an architecture category among the Nobel prizes, entails a grant of $100,000 (£50,270). It was set up by the Pritzker family associated with Hyatt hotels and is awarded by Hyatt Foundation following a selection procedure modelled on that of the Nobels.

The jury, chaired by Lord Palumbo, cited Nouvel's “persistency, imagination, exuberance” and “insatiable urge for creative experimentation” as well as his “courageous pursuit of new ideas and his challenge of accepted norms in order to stretch the boundaries of the field”.

The 62-year-old architect, who runs Paris-based practice Ateliers Jean Nouvel along with Michel Pélissié, came to international note in 1987 with the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, one of President Francois Mitterand's grands projets.

He has since designed more than 200 projects all over the world, including the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris, the Agbar Tower in Barcelona, Lucerne Cultural and Conference Centre and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

Nouvel succeeds Lord Rogers, last year's laureate. Other previous winners include Frank Gehry, Lord Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, and Renzo Piano, who was also a member of the selection jury this year.

The award ceremony will be held on 2 June in Library of Congress in Washington DC, where the very first prize was also awarded in 1978.