Nouvelle AOM has just been chosen to transform Paris’ historic Tour Montparnasse into a beacon of sustainability for the City of Light. The winning design envisions a contemporary green makeover for the 40-year-old skyscraper – including a new transparent shell cladding and forests in the sky that will improve air quality in and around the tower.
The 689-foot Tour Montparnasse was completed in 1973, and it was France’s tallest skyscraper until 2011. There is a lot of history (and controversy) behind the tower, so its redesign had to pay respect to its revered past while re-establish its position as a modern landmark in the city.
“This was a huge challenge, as the Tower isn’t like any other,” the jury explained. “Nouvelle AOM’s project perfectly captures the spirit of the 21st century, giving the Tower a multifaceted identity revolving around attractive, innovative new uses. The Tower will breathe new life into the Montparnasse neighbourhood.”
The winning design, which beat out submissions from OMA, MAD and Studio Gang, was a collaboration between three Paris-based firms: Franklin Azzi Architecture, Chartier Dalix Architectes and Hardel et le Behan Architectes. The old opaque cladding will be replaced by a transparent facade that will “glow” at night. Multiple floors throughout the tower – including the large conservatory rooftop – will be planted with lush vegetated forests and hanging gardens that will improve air quality both within and outside the skyscraper.
The architects explain that the design concept was inspired by the need to create a contemporary skyscraper that will become a beacon of the city’s commitment to sustainability. “When we took up the challenge of this exciting competition, our focus was on revealing the beauty of the Tour Montparnasse from the inside out. We achieved this by incorporating radically new uses and crafting a complete sustainable ‘green’ makeover of the facade. The aim is to make the Tower an icon of the 21st century energy revolution,” explains Nouvelle AOM.
Construction on the €300 million project is expected to begin in 2019 and it’s slated for completion in time for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Images via Nouvelle AOM