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MIPIM 2009 Hosts Unique Architects Gathering

PARIS.- MIPIM, the World's Property Market, is set to welcome an unparalleled line-up of leading international architects as part of its 20th edition conference programme, to be held in Cannes from 10 to 13 March. For the first time, Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, Thom Mayne, Wolf Prix, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizama will share the same stage, on Wednesday, March 11 at 4:15 pm, as they discuss design and urban planning issues, and offer their respective vision of tomorrow's architectural practices.

The internationally renowned Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize in 2004. Recognized for her deconstructivist projects combining design, landscaping and cutting-edge technologies, she has designed a broad range of works in various countries. Among others, the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (USA) and the BMW Central Building in Leipzig (Germany) illustrate her innovative vision of forms and spatial concepts. Among her projects under construction, The Opus Office Tower scheduled for 2010 in Dubai (UAE) will be the first Zaha Hadid building in the Middle East.

Born of Polish Jewish parents who survived the Holocaust and a naturalized American, Daniel Libeskind won the first Leone di Petra prize at the Venice Biennale in 1985. The designer of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, he has worked on urban and cultural projects in many countries, demonstrating a multidisciplinary commitment, especially to the duties of memory. His practice was chosen to rebuild the World Trade Center in New York, a project carrying a high political and emotional charge. Among other works in progress, Zlota 44 in Warsaw is the first project by Daniel Libeskind in his native country, and will be the tallest tower in Poland and one of the highest residential towers in Europe.

An American architect and founder of the firm Morphosis in 1972 and co-founder of the influential Southern California Institute of Architecture, Thom Mayne has won numerous awards including the Pritzker Prize in 2005. His work has become more ambitious since the late 1990s, particularly in the U.S. with the Federal Building in San Francisco, the Wayne L. Morse United States Courthouse in Oregon, and the Student Recreation Center at the University of Cincinnati. Thom Mayne is particularly careful about the pre-existing context and uses high technologies to serve the needs of sustainable development, with such future projects as the 300-metre Phare Tower scheduled for 2012 in the Parisian business district of La Defense, and the Giant Group Campus in Shanghai, China.

The Austrian architect and founder of the Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wolf Prix has received many awards, including the New Yorker Progressive Architecture Award three times in succession from 1989 to 1991. Recognized today for his involvement in teaching and training, he advocates a dynamic architecture to reinvent urban planning and refers to various achievements to his name, including the recent inaugurations of BMW Welt in Munich (Germany) and the Akron Art Museum in Ohio (USA). Among his future projects now under construction are the Musee des Confluences in Lyon (France) and the Cinema Center in Busan (South Korea). He is also planning the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition in Shenzen (China) and the Center for Performing Arts in Zarautz (Spain).

The Japanese architects and founders of the Sanaa collaborative practice, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa have received several awards including the Prize of Architectural Institute of Japan in 2006. Their style illustrates an ascetic architecture which intends to provide a Japanese reinterpretation of modernity. While focusing initially on Japan, with the M-House in Tokyo and the O-Museum in Nagano, they are also extending their work throughout the world, with the Prada Beauty Leegarden in Hong Kong presented at the Venice Biennale in 2000, the Zollverein School of Management and Design in Essen (Germany) and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (USA). Ongoing projects include the House for China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture in Nanjing (China) and the Neruda Tower in Guadalajara (Mexico).

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December 21, 2008

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