French architect Jean Nouvel has been named the 2008 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Over the last thirty years the Pritzker Prize has been awarded to such industry heavyweights as Renzo Piano, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Thom Mayne, I M Pei and Frank Gehry.

Nouvel, whose designs include the L’Institut du Monde Arabe (1989), the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris (1994) and Expo 2002 in Switzerland, will receive a US$100,000 grant and a bronze medallion at The Library of Congress.

The Pritzker Architecture Prize was launched in 1979 as tribute to a living architects “whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.”

By staff writer