The Georges-Freche School of Hotel Management in Montpellier, France is as much a sculpture as it is a functional mixed-use facility. Comprised of two main buildings connected by foot bridges and wrapped in a recyclable anodized aluminum skin, the project was officially inaugurated this month. It was designed by Studio Fuksas and it completely transforms the ZAC Port Marianne area in the western part of the city.
Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas originally won the rights to design France’s newest public building through the 2007 Région Languedoc-Roussillon architecture design competition. Their awe-inspiring sculptural design consists of a hotel and three restaurants as well as accommodation for both students and staff. This ensures the most efficient use of space by combining education, housing and real-world hospitality in one 3.95 acre site.
Anodized aluminum is recognized as one of the most sustainable commercial building materials because of its recyclability, and Studio Fuksas has used a lot of it. No fewer than 17,000 cases of triangular-shaped panels were incorporated into the facade, which creates a dazzling display of light and shadow. And finally, rooftop photovoltaic panels on the first building and management apartments provide renewable energy for part of the school. While we’ve certainly seen greater commitments to sustainability, the Georges-Freche School of Hotel Management might just be the most beautiful of its kind.
images © Moreno Maggi