November 19, 2018



Designed by Christian de Portzamparc and inaugurated in June 2011, the cellar features two enormous waves of white concrete that rise magnificently out of the ground. There is a garden of wild grasses atop this artificial hill, whose gracious curves are overlooked by the château. The wine cellar lets in natural light and has a pure, simple design that seems out of time. It is entirely suited to Cheval Blanc.
The 6,000 m² cellar houses a state-of-the-art winemaking facility where technology is guided by man, and not the reverse. Human hands take precedence over machines. Despite its huge size, the building conveys a gentle, intimate atmosphere. The streamlined design leaves no room for the superfluous.  Everything is kept in proportion, like the wines that are produced there...
Natural light penetrates into the vat room, with its fifty-two vats in six rows. Built in Italy, these concrete vats come in nine different sizes, from 20 to 110 hectolitres.
Each one is devoted to grapes from a different plot and displays two plaques: one permanent one with the number and the capacity of the vat, as well as another removable one showing the plot number, the grape variety, when the vines were planted, and when the grapes were put into vat. This "tailor-made" winemaking means that vats correspond exactly to individual vineyard plots, and is conducive to fine-tuning the final blend of wines from Cheval Blanc's homogeneous terroir. The cellar is fully in keeping with the château's extreme attention to detail throughout the winemaking process.
In fact, the Cheval Blanc cellar was the first in its category to be certified for the High Quality Environmental (HQE) standard. Known for its stringent criteria, this certification recognises the care taken in choosing building materials, energy saving, waste water management, and the sorting of solid waste, as well as acoustic comfort and employee well-being.
On the 20th of November 2013, the Cheval Blanc cellar received the famous International Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum, a museum of architecture and design. The cellar also received an award from the Centre européen pour le Design d’Art architectural et d’Etudes urbaines. The latter recognises distinctive, avant-garde, innovative buildings. Cheval Blanc was the first wine cellar ever to receive this honour.
Work in the cellar begins with the harvest, as soon as the grapes come off the sorting table. The crushed grapes are put into small 450 kg vats, then transported to the fermentation vat that corresponds to their weight and the plot they came from. Every vat is filled three-quarters full by gravity flow, without pumping. The juice is left on the skins and alcoholic fermentation is ready to begin.
This starts on the second day due to the action of yeast. After about 12 hours of fermentation, the CO2 that is released pushes the skins to the top of the vat, where they form a cap. Three times a day, part of the translucent juice is pumped from the bottom of the vat up to the top to percolate through the cap. This pumping over is done delicately in order to obtain the highest-quality tannin. The operation takes place manually, and a technician makes sure to spray wine all over the cap. This pumping over is done less frequently as time goes on and comes to a halt when the desired relative density is attained. This is measured twice a day with a hydrometer. The other parameters are overseen by the château technical team and the cellar master, who takes a sample every morning from each vat.
The juice is left in contact with the cap in temperature-controlled vats for several days at a temperature of 28-30°C without manipulation. This post-fermentation phase helps to make the free run juice richer and more elegant, and the tannic texture more silky. The free run juice is put into another vat, and the marc is pressed. The various lots of press wine (approximately 10% of the total) are put into barrel to speed up clarification. The best lots will later become part of the château's second wine.
In order to preserve each plot’s taste profile, malolactic fermentation takes place in vat at a temperature of 20°C. This operation softens the acidity and stabilises the wine. It lasts for anywhere from three weeks to several months. Sulphur is added at the end of this second fermentation to avoid oxidation and any harmful bacteria. Only the smallest possible amount of chemical input products is used at the château during winemaking, which must remain as simple and natural as possible.

When fermentation is finished, in late autumn, the wine spends a further sixteen to eighteen months in long rows of barrels in a vast underground cellar with subdued lighting at a constant temperature of 14°C. Every vintage is aged in oak: between 300 and 450 barrels.
Each one is numbered and replaced every year. The barrels are made exclusively from French oak trees aged 180, 200, or even 350 years old. These are from the famous forests of Tronçais in the Allier department and Bercé in the Sarthe department. Only the best parts of the trees are used by coopers to make these barrels. The oak is split rather than sawn to preserve its outstanding qualities.
Château Cheval Blanc purchases their barrels from six or seven different cooperages, and the quality is constantly controlled. This diversity avoids any dominant kind of oak influence due to a single variety of oak or degree of toasting. Barrel ageing must help the wine to express itself and respect its tannic structure. It must accompany rather than overpower or overshadow the wine. Twice a year, the château's technical team organises blind tastings along with coopers during which they evaluate wines from different barrels to test their uniformity and to achieve the greatest possible aromatic precision. This also allows the château be more explicit about their requirements and preferences.
Barrel ageing begins in late November or the month of December. A few weeks later, in January or February, the first racking is done. This delicate operation clarifies the wine by separating it from the lees. Cheval Blanc feels it important to obtain clear juice quickly, and to keep it separate from the lees that would make the wine coarser. Racking is done every three months, i.e. a total of five to seven times, depending on the vintage. Wine is racked by hand from barrel to barrel at Cheval Blanc, via the esquive, or small bunghole, for perfect clarification and to avoid contact with oxygen.  This age-old practice calls for special skills that have become extremely rare. The fact that this tradition has been maintained shows the château's commitment to a simple, fundamental value: complete, careful control over winemaking.
Racking entails transferring 210 litres out of 225 from one barrel to the neighbouring one using an inert gas (nitrogen) that pushes the wine out of the barrel while avoiding the risk of oxidation. Neither pumps nor filters are used so as not to upset the wine's balance. A tripod called a chèvre makes it possible to tip the barrel at the end of racking. During this final stage, the wine's clarity is checked visually by a technician. He does this by pouring a sample into a glass and holding it up to a light source. He alone decides whether to go on with the racking or to stop.
It is only after three months in barrel, at the end of winter and before the en primeur tastings for the wine trade and the media, that the blend is made. This means that wines from various plots are put together for the first time. This blending is more than just a simple step in the long process leading to the production of a new vintage. Instead, it is the writing of a new page in the history of Cheval Blanc. The aim is not at all to make the same wine every year, but to produce the most beautiful Cheval Blanc in a given year – one  that combines vintage character with the estate's intrinsic characteristics of freshness, elegance, finesse, length, and balance. The team making the blend must work hard to create the best possible synthesis. Every vintage leads to a new interpretation of Cheval Blanc's terroir.
During blending, wine from each barrel is tasted and its expression of the plots it represents assayed. The extraordinary complexity of Cheval Blanc's terroir shows through at this time, as well as the perfect complementarity of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Depending on the vintage, wine from fifteen to thirty-five plots out of forty-five go into the grand vin. The choice of plots in a specific vintage is not governed by any hard and fast rules other than truths revealed by very careful tasting. Furthermore, the exact proportion of Cabernet Franc and Merlot is not set in stone, nor are production figures defined in advance. Only excellence determines which wines are worthy to become Cheval Blanc.
Blending is an art calling for considerable expertise. This is a very important event at the château calling for inspiration and concentration – but also doubt and uncertainty.  Every member of the team is well aware of the precise proportions in previous years going back decades – and that the balance can shift enormously by adding or excluding as little as one barrel of wine.
Wines from selected barrels (and thus from selected plots) are briefly left to marry in a 220-hectolitre stainless steel vat. The blend is then put back into barrels and returned to the ageing cellar, where the wines remain for one more year in the semi-darkness, naturally ventilated by a Mashrabiya.


Although the exact location of the first vines grown in Bordeaux is unknown, the vestiges of luxurious villas – the ancestors of today's wine châteaux – have been found in Saint-Emilion. One such villa belonged to Ausone (Ausonius in Latin), poet-winemaker and Roman Consul in the 4th century AD. The expansion of the Saint-Emilion vineyards continued through the centuries, especially during the Middle Ages. The creation and development of the port of Libourne in the 12th century, during the English occupation, led to thriving maritime trade that spread the reputation of Saint-Emilion wines throughout Europe. They were already considered of superlative quality at the time, with unusual ageing potential, and were often given as special gifts to royalty and other important people. Poetically referred to as "the hill with a thousand châteaux", Saint-Emilion has a colourful history. Skilled and enthusiastic winegrowers have long contributed to its stellar reputation.
The appellation surrounds the eponymous medieval town on a limestone plateau situated east of Libourne, where the Isle and Dordogne rivers meet. Château Cheval Blanc has an altogether unique terroir in Saint-Emilion. While most of the appellation's other famous estates have limestone soil dating from the Tertiary Period, Cheval Blanc's soil features alluvia from the Quaternary Period deposited by the Isle. And like most of the prestigious estates in Pomerol, Cheval Blanc's soil formation has a varied texture that does not include limestone. However, Cheval Blanc is also different – and unique – in that the proportion of gravel and clay is just about equal. This gift of nature is essential in understanding the estate's history.
Archives show that wines have been grown at Cheval Blanc at least as far back as the 15th century. Furthermore, a document dated 1546 shows that the owner at the time leased the vineyard, and a contract from 1587 specified that the sharecropper "will live there when the sun goes down to keep an eye on the vines...". A century later, the "Au Cheval-Blanc" tenant farm was sold to Bertrand de Gombaud for the sizeable sum of 1,400 francs. Two winegrowers were living full-time at Cheval Blanc on the eve of the French Revolution. This was very unusual at the time, and reflects how highly the terroir was regarded.
The most prestigious part of Cheval Blanc's history can be said to date from 1832, when Jean-Jacques Ducasse, President of the Libourne Trade Tribunal, purchased the core of the present-day estate. Over the next twenty years, the purchase of plots belonging to Château Figeac led to the creation of the 39- hectare vineyard as we know it today. The configuration has remained practically unchanged. The marriage of Jean-Jacques' daughter, Henriette, with Jean Laussac-Fourcaud, a Libourne wine merchant, opened a new chapter in the history of Cheval Blanc that would define and consolidate the identity of this unique property.
After Henriette inherited Cheval Blanc, her husband undertook a spectacular renovation. He was among the first people to understand the importance of water stress to produce the finest wines, and put in an efficient drainage system.
However, the greatest progress made by the new owners was in the vineyard. Aware of Cheval Blanc's outstanding potential, and helped by an extraordinary intuition, Jean Laussac-Fourcaud replanted part of the estate in the 1860s with a totally atypical proportion of grape varieties: half Merlot (the king of the Right Bank) and half Cabernet Franc. This replanting was finished in 1871.
Formerly known as vin de Figeac, the wine was first sold under the name Cheval Blanc in 1852. This was the beginning of a prestigious career.
Jean Laussac-Fourcaud focused on one goal for over thirty years: to make his wine one of the very best in Saint-Emilion and to enhance its reputation. Cheval Blanc obtained its first medal at the 1862 Universal Exhibition in London. In fact, a representation of this bronze medal is found on the château's present-day label. Cheval Blanc won their first gold medal at the 1878 Universal Exhibition in Paris, and this new distinction also appeared on the label. In 1886, Cheval Blanc won a second gold medal at the Universal Exhibition in Antwerp. Reflecting this series of successes and a wine well on the way to achieving international recognition, a château was built on the estate.
Cheval Blanc was able to realise its greatest dream in the 1880s, when it began to be considered on a par with the first growths of the Médoc – and one of the most dependably fine wines in the world – by the wine trade and connoisseurs. Thus, in the latter half of the 19th century, Cheval Blanc was in the same price bracket as Margaux, Latour, Lafite, and Haut-Brion in Paris and London auction houses. The wine's reputation earned it a place at prestigious meals, major receptions, and state dinners.

After Jean Laussac-Fourcaud passed away in 1888, his widow inherited the estate. She, in turn, left it to her son, Albert, who had reversed his hyphenated family name by this time. Albert Fourcaud-Laussac perpetuated the work undertaken by his father and installed twelve wooden vats that were used until 1966. Major investments were made in the vineyard and selected old vines reproduced by mass selection.
Albert's two sons, Jacques and Joseph Fourcaud-Laussac, continued in their father's and grandfather's footsteps. The same cellar master was in charge at Cheval Blanc for 44 years – Gaston Vaissière poured his talent, energy, and enthusiasm into making the most of a terroir he considered "magical"...
Cheval Blanc obtained the highest possible distinction in the first classification of Saint-Emilion wines in 1954: Premier Grand Cru Classé "A". This exalted rank was confirmed in every following classification in each subsequent decade. Cheval Blanc became a member of the exclusive "Club of 9" comprising the first growths of Bordeaux.
A page was turned in autumn of 1998 when Bernard Arnault and Baron Albert Frère, two old friends and lovers of great wine, joined forces to became the owners of this fabled château in Saint-Emilion. They injected a dynamic new spirit, while respecting the château's history and existing facilities. They also placed their complete trust in the winemaking team to continue their good work.  The priority today is the ultimate in quality, which calls for enormous attention to detail and precision winemaking
Furthermore, Cheval Blanc is resolutely turned towards the future. This is epitomised by the impressive new cellar adjacent to the château. Designed by Christian de Portzamparc, winner of the 1994 Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1994, this was completed in June 2011. Reflecting the desire of Baron Albert Frère and Bernard Arnault, this building is both futuristic and in keeping with the surrounding historic vineyard landscape listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Winegrowers have succeeded one another at Cheval Blanc for six centuries in the context of a "wine civilisation" some 2,000 years old. The wine from this estate is now a joy to men and women all over the world who are aware that a great growth such as Cheval Blanc is a treasure of voluptuousness and pleasure.

The soil at Cheval Blanc is regularly ploughed and alternately earthed-up and unearthed twice a year. This entails pushing the soil up around the base of the vine, and later moving it away and flattening it. This helps protect the vines from winter cold. Furthermore, "subsoiling" is practised between alternate vines rows every other year. This entails the mechanical disruption of plough pans beneath the normal depth of cultivation to enhance rooting. Dead vines (less than 1% a year) are replaced in November.
The vines go into hibernation in winter, when they are pruned. Calling for experience and considerable dexterity, this essential operation is done slowly and with consummate skill at Cheval Blanc. In fact, the same worker is assigned to the same plot year after year so that he acquires a great familiarity with the vines. He observes every vine closely, analyses its vigour, and weighs up its balance before "sculpting" it.  Depending on what he sees, he will choose one of the fruiting canes with a few buds to leave behind, and cuts off the other canes. The worker decides on the total number of buds to leave, according to each vine's vigour and potential. This "bud pruning" is conducive to spreading out bunches on the cane. Each bud will produce an average of two bunches.  Everything is a question of equilibrium: a vigorous vine can cope with more buds than one that is less vigorous.
Every vine stake, tie, and guide wire is checked in winter in every plot at Cheval Blanc. This operation, called carassonnage in French, makes it possible to put the finishing touches to the way the vine is trained (i.e. supported and guided), and to replace any stakes damaged by bad weather.  In March, workers make sure that each vine is firmly attached and well-stabilised. The cane left after winter pruning is delicately attached to the guide wire in order to grow horizontally. This is only done during wet weather because, if it were dry, the cane might break.
The growing season begins after a winter rest. Buds appear, protected by their down and scales. This is the first stage of the growth cycle. A meticulous operation called suckering is done in spring to remove non-fruit-bearing shoots that would sap the vigour from fruit-bearing ones.  Furthermore, the vines are attached by hand to the horizontal guide wires three times a year. This is generally done in May, June, and July to keep pace with vine growth.
The soil is screefed and ploughed in spring and earthing up is done to limit the growth of grass. During an operation called décavaillonnage in French, the narrow patch of land between wines is unearthed. The soil is manually removed from this area inaccessible by machines. This tilling removes weeds while mixing up and aerating the soil. That is very important since it forces the vine roots to sink deep into the ground to find nourishment. Furthermore, it also makes the vines less subject to excess or insufficient water supply.
Young vines are planted in May and June on plots left fallow for two and a half years. The old vines previously found there had become too weak and needed to be grubbed up. The soil was then deeply ploughed and given time to regenerate.  
Everything possible is done to encourage homogeneous growth. Flowering is closely observed between late May and early June. The flowers need to bloom at the same time so the grapes will ripen together. The vines are topped for the first time during this flowering period. This consists of trimming the uppermost shoots in order to limit vertical growth, as well as to facilitate aeration and penetration by the sun's rays.
Once flowering is over, the first berries start to take shape. Leaf thinning takes place after this fruit set, between late June and early July.  Cheval Blanc's vines are oriented north-south, so the leaves are plucked around grape bunches on the east-facing side so they can take advantage of the sunlight. Everything is done to free the area around each bunch and to aerate it. However, care is taken to leave a leaf just above, a sort of "cap" to protect the grapes from scorching when the sun is directly overhead.
By early summer, each vine has from two to twelve bunches.  Green harvesting in July helps to keep the bunches from becoming overly compact, because this entails a risk of rot. If there are too many bunches on a vine, excess ones are removed so that the remaining ones will be more concentrated. However, care must be taken not to eliminate too many, because that can lead to grapes that are too big. Cheval Blanc seeks to produce only small, concentrated berries. The grapes swell little by little and an important step is reached with the closing of the cluster.
The skins change colour and the grapes acquire properties that will make them into a great wine during a process called véraison that occurs within the space of a few days in early August. The Cheval Blanc technical team is especially vigilant at this time because véraison must coincide with a stop to the vine's vegetative growth. If the vine keeps on growing, it will be to the detriment to ripening. From this point on, the grapes need sufficient nourishment to concentrate sugar and tannin and ripen perfectly. Making sure that this final stage of the growing season occurs seamlessly is essential for a great terroir.
At the end of véraison, green harvesting is done once again in order to even out the ripening process. However, this time it involves removing green grapes that have not yet undergone véraison. In this way, only grapes that have reached the same perfect degree of maturity will be picked.
In August, aoûtement, or lignification takes place. Shoots become hard and woody, and the veins become red, then brown. The grapes are fragile at this stage, and workers must be careful not to jostle them walking through the vines. Tilling operations come to a halt after an earthing-up in the middle of summer. The grass can now grow, and will absorb water in place of the vines. Tannin quality is vastly improved by water stress.

Cheval Blanc's power and density revolve around a key factor: the grapes are only picked when they have reached the exact desired degree of maturity which, in fact, encompasses three separate kinds of ripeness. The first is aromatic ripeness. If a fruit's development can be divided into four stages ranging from "green" to "rotten", only the "fresh" stage interests Cheval Blanc. The second kind of ripeness, called technological maturity, is also essential because it concerns the complex balance between acidity and sugar. Acidity contributes freshness and balance, and provides seemingly paradoxical qualities found only in the greatest wines: engaging youthfulness and ageing potential. Alcoholic degree does not seem to be a decisive factor, since this can vary from 12.5 to 14° at Cheval Blanc – which maintains fine balance in all instances. The third and final kind of ripeness is "phenolic maturity", which concerns the wine's structure. Only the quality of the tannin counts here, as opposed to the quantity. The château team seeks to determine what tannic grain the wine will have, and how it will coat the palate. The aim is to obtain silky, unctuous, rich, concentrated tannin that is neither dry nor rustic.
Analyses take place daily starting in early September. Every morning, the vineyard manager and technical director go through the vineyards to evaluate the three kinds of ripeness. They look at recent weather patterns and compare different parameters: aroma, acidity, and tannin. Cheval Blanc aims for the optimum level of all three kinds of ripeness in each of the estate's forty-five plots. All the work done throughout the growing season is at stake. If one of the plots does not attain the expected criteria, the grapes will not go into the grand vin. The ripeness of the pulp, the skins, and the seeds must all be al dente.
The waiting game must continue as long as the grapes are not ready and the desired degree of ripeness not been reached. Logistical or organisational priorities – in short, the easy way out – must always take a back seat. The pickers bide their time until they receive the go-ahead to harvest, plot by plot. The decision to begin picking can be made from one day to the next. Only rain can upset things.
Grapes are entirely harvested by hand at Château Cheval Blanc. Some fifty pickers with secateurs are supervised by the vineyard manager. The harvest takes place "à la carte" according to the ripeness of each grape variety in each plot. Altogether, this takes about ten days of work spread over a month. The technical team may decide to pick just a single plot in a full day – or interrupt the harvest for several days. The availability and flexibility of pickers are major advantages here..
The grapes are picked into crates with a capacity of 20 kilos. Once a plot has been entirely harvested, the grapes are carefully identified and weighed. Which fermentation vat they will go into depends on how many kilos there are. The freshly-picked grapes are put onto pallets and stored overnight in a cold room. The grapes from each different plot are processed separately – no grapes from one plot are mixed with ones from another.
An initial sorting is made by experienced pickers in the vineyard. They are fully accustomed to the château's strict criteria and immediately eliminate any grapes that are not in fine condition.  The grapes are gone over a second time by four workers on a sorting table, at low speed. At the end of this table, a further team of twelve does a final sorting after the grapes have been destemmed. Each of these steps is done by skilled employees who have only quality in mind. Any grapes that are green, pink, or shrivelled are rejected. Only perfect berries are retained. The grapes that have passed the third level of inspection go into the crusher, which splits them open one by one. Tolerance is very small here: less than 5% of the grapes are left whole and less than 5% are crushed.




Christian de Portzamparc is a leading architect and urban planner, who was rewarded 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 imaginative architectural style is known for its distinctive features such as bold designs, an artistic approach and the creativity that comes from him also as a watercolor painter. He is especially esteemed as a designer of concert halls and an urban planner.
He studied architecture in Paris and New York, and became famous for his creation of the rue des Hautes Formes dwellings in Paris and the large scale project for François Mitterrand called the City of Music (1995). which involved creating music halls of different sizes, a music museum and many dwelling places.
His important works include Nexus (1991), a residential complex in Fukuoka, LVMH Tower (1991), and two skyscrapers (2015) in New York, the Philharmonie of Luxembourg (2005), the City of Arts (2013), a cultural complex in Rio de Janeiro, and the U Arena (2017), an indoor stadium in Nanterre, on the outskirts of Paris. Currently he is engaged in a large scale project as in Casablanca for the larger theater in Africa and in China, for opera house in Shanghai and the Suzhou Cultural Center, scheduled to be completed in 2019.
The Atelier Christian de Portzamparc works on construction projects of all sizes together with a wide variety of construction programs. Each project represents a new challenge requiring extensive research and experimentation, from the initial designs to the search for construction solutions.
The Atelier is also an “urban laboratory” that performs in-depth urban and structural analyses, a technique developed by Christian de Portzamparc since the 70’s based on projects “manifestoes“, competitions and studies. This has allowed him to develop his methods and apply theoretical research and analysis principles to a multitude of practical situations.
In his renewed vision of urban structure, which he called the “open block”, his work focuses on research in urban planning and concerns on the quality of collective and individual living spaces.
From singular buildings to rethought urbanism, the city is indeed one of the founding subjects of its work, which at the same time develops around three major themes: buildings that bring together the public as places of culture, music or institutions, landmark buildings such as towers, and parts of the city and neighbourhoods, from the block to the evolution of metropolises in the Greater Paris area for example.

Landmark buildings often become urban benchmarks or symbols that draw an area together to create the essential marks which the immense urban landscape of metropolises requires.
Based on these large unique objects, landmark buildings, urban poles of attraction, the interior and exterior spaces intersect like the Cidade das Arte in Rio. Completed in 2013 it is a unique concert hall in the world that can be transformed into an opera hall. It houses a theatre, a chamber music and popular music hall, a movie theatre, dance and rehearsal rooms, exhibition spaces, and restaurants.
Since the 80’s, Christian de Portzamparc’s enduring passion for music has led him to enter a series of music and dance-related architectural competitions, including the Paris Opera Ballet School in Nanterre, France (awarded the Equerre d’Argent 1988) and the Cité de la Musique in Paris, France (awarded the Equerre d’Argent 1995), the Philharmonie Luxembourg (International Architecture Award 2008 by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum), or Cidade das Artes in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (International Architecture Award 2008 by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum, “Grand Prix AFEX 2014 of the French architecture in the world“, awarded by the association French Architects Overseas).

In July 2009, the international competition for the Africa’s largest Theatre New Art which took place saw projects from Zaha Hadid, Franck O. GGehry Rem Koolhaas and Aziz Lazrak. The site, the vast Place Mohammed V in Casablanca, was a brainteaser. Portzamparc’s project was to breathe life into this vast institutional square and give a contemporary twist to its classical composition. This winning project – athe 1,800-seat main hall is designed to host musical concerts, classical theatre plays and various other large-scale performances – gives the impression of being composed of several detached houses, like a medina in the city.
In 2011, Bernard Arnault commissioned Christian de Portzamparc with the construction of a Dior flagship store in the elegant neighborhood of Cheongdam-dong, on Apgujeong Avenue in Seoul. Inspired by the haute couture creation of this famous house, the building is a manifesto with white curves undulating toward the sky in a subtle dissymmetry that evokes the cloth at the genesis of every couture piece (International Architecture Award 2016 for the best new global design awarded by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum).
Inaugurated in October 2017, the “U Arena” is an “indoor” stadium and the ground of the “Racing-Metro 92” rugby team, in the Hauts-de-Seine region. A French sporting legend since 1882, the club was taken over in 2006 by its current president Jacky Lorenzetti. The stadium is also being used as a large performance space accommodating 10,000 to 40,000 people. It is the largest indoor multipurpose facility with a variable capacity in France. Located in the town of Nanterre, close to the “Grande Arche” in La Défense, this project falls within the scope of the “Seine-Arche operation of national interest” – the status accorded by the State to territorial projects which are aligned with national strategies and objectives.
In 2013, Christian de Portzamparc is commissioned by the city to design the Suzhou Cultural Center. It is one of a series of prestigious projects as part of the Wujiang Lakefront Masterplan. As the flagship project of this brand-new locality, the city is developing a remarkable site of over 100,000 sq.m. It lies at the convergence of one of China’s most beautiful lakes and the major urban perspective of the new city.

Neighbourhoods and city districts are central to Christian de Portzamparc’s practical and intellectual contribution to the current architectural debate. Recognizing the central importance of the infinitely subtle human context, in which local conditions are “grist to his mill”, his interventions operate at a number of different levels, both as an architect in the purist sense and as an urban planner.
From the city to the object, Christian de Portzamparc has worked on towers since his first projects in 1974, when he designed a water tower covered with vegetation, which became a poetic landmark for a new city in Marne-la-Vallée, France, followed in 1991 by the Lille Tower, a unique, sculptural object built over a railway station in Rem Koolhaas’s “Euralille” district (completed in 1995).
The towers created by Christian de Portzamparc are the fruit of his research into vertical volume and its sculptural dimension, which he has crystalized into his characteristic prismatic forms.

His best known tower is the LVMH Tower in New York, USA, completed in 1999 (Business Week and Architectural Record award 2006), followed by the competition for the Hearst tower in 2000 and soon to be accompanied by the residential tower, Prism on Park Avenue in Manhattan, New York, USA, approved by the City Planning authorities in 2004, which was opened in late May 2015. And completed in 2014, with its 300 meters high, the One57 tower in New York is hosting a luxury hotel occupies the first 20 floors and 130 super-luxury condominiums in co-ownership, among which some offer breathtaking views of Central Park and the “skyline” of the city.

Currently under study are two towers in Paris-La Défense including offices and a hotel complex, the Sisters towers, scheduled for delivery in 2022.
The 603-feet high headquarters of French bank Société Générale at La Défense district in Paris, the Granite Tower (completed in 2008) is the first sustainable high-rise building in France (H.E.Q. certified, the French equivalent of the North American LEED)
1988 – Equerre d’Argent – awarded by the press group Le Moniteur for the Dance School of the Paris Opera in Nanterre[13]
1989 – Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters – awarded by the French Ministry of Culture
1990 – The Great Prize of Architecture of the City of Paris – awarded by the Mayor of Paris
1992 – Médaille d’Argent – awarded by the French Academy of Architecture
1993 – Great National Prize of Architecture – awarded by the French Ministry of Urbanism and Transport
1994 – Pritzker Prize of Architecture – awarded by the Hyatt Foundation
1995 – Equerre d’Argent awarded by the French press group Le Moniteur for the City of Music – Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris
2001 – Business Week and Architectural Record Award for the LVMH tower in New York (USA)[14]
2004 – The Great Prize of Urbanism – awarded by an international jury who ‘wanted to congratulate a work with achievements of high quality combined with city vision and philosophy articulating theoretical concepts and concrete realisations, while developing an optimistic vision for the future through his works and writings’[15]
2005 – MIPIM Award for the remodelling of the building for the press group Le Monde in Paris
2018 – Praemium Imperiale award- Architecture category