French architect Jean Nouvel loves adding a pop of greenery to his designs, and his white-and-green tower block in Cyprus’ capital city of Nicosia is a fine example of that passion. The tower is a blend of modern design and that little something extra that only nature can provide. The multi-use building contains ten stories of apartments, six stories of office space, and a two-story retail area, resulting in a bustling center for activity near the city’s busy Eleftheria Square, which in itself is an incredible design project.
Nouvel’s tower in Cyprus, which his firm calls “White Walls,” is a radical departure from a traditional high rise. Rather than sporting a neatly arranged grid of windows and balconies, as many similar buildings might, Nouvel’s creation has a pixelated pattern of windows and open air atriums. Those atriums are packed with lush greenery, which overflows the balcony railings and breaks up the long, straight line of the building. From a distance, the bright green plants pop against the building’s stark white exterior, and the irregular pattern of their placement gives the structure an overall visual appeal that ultra-modern high rises simply lack.
The greenery at Nouvel’s tower doesn’t stop at building’s doors, though. On the grounds, 400-year-old olive trees create a green link to the adjacent urban park. These features, combined with the year-round temperate climate of the region, invite residents and visitors to spend just as much time outdoors as in, if not more. Having the vantage point to take in the view of the green-spotted building from below is just an added advantage.
The incredible building was completed in April 2015.
Images via Yiorgis Yerolymbos for Jean Nouvel