Pierres Vives in Montpellier by Zaha Hadid (9)

The ‘Pierres Vives’ building in Montpellier, France, by Zaha Hadid, will house three government department, has been completed. The building made by concrete and glass will accommodate the multimedia library, public archive and sports department.  Image credit Hélène Binet

Pierres Vives in Montpellier by Zaha Hadid (10)
Image credit Hélène Binet



The building has been developed on the basis of a rigorous pursuit of functional and economic logic.

Images credit: Zaha Hadid Architects

Pierres Vives in Montpellier by Zaha Hadid (8)

Pierres Vives in Montpellier by Zaha Hadid (7)



Pierres Vives in Montpellier by Zaha Hadid (6)

Pierres Vives in Montpellier by Zaha Hadid (5)

Pierres Vives in Montpellier by Zaha Hadid (4)

Pierres Vives in Montpellier by Zaha Hadid (3)

Pierres Vives in Montpellier by Zaha Hadid (2)

Pierres Vives in Montpellier by Zaha Hadid (1)

via designboom

source Zaha Hadid

More information from Zaha Hadid Architects:

The Pierres Vives building of the department de l’Herault is characterised by the unification of three institutions – the archive, the library and the sports department – within a single envelope. These various parts of this “cite administrative” combine into a strong figure visible far into the landscape. As one moves closer, the division into three parts becomes apparent. The building has been developed on the basis of a rigorous pursuit of functional and economic logic. However, the resultant figure is reminiscent of a large tree- trunk, laid horizontal. The archive is located at the solid base of the trunk, followed by the slightly more porous library with the sports department and its well-lit offices on top where the trunk bifurcates and becomes much lighter. The branches projecting off the main trunk are articulating the points of access and the entrances into the various institutions. On the western side all the public entrances are located, with the main entrance under an enormous cantilevering canopy; while on the eastern side all the service entrances, i.e. staff entrances and loading bays are located. In this way the tree-trunk analogy is exploited to organise and articulate the complexity of the overall “cite administrative”.

Spatial Organisation

The main vehicular access road- both for public visitors as well as for staff and service vehicles, is coming off Rue Marius Petipa, and provides access to either side of the building. The public access leads to the generous visitor car park right in front of the main entrance lobby. The service access is stretched along the opposite side.

This longitudinal division of serviced and servicing spaces is maintained within the ground floor along the full length of the building. The front side contains all the public functions of each institution, linked by a linear lobby and an exhibition space in the centre. Above this connective ground level the three institutions remain strictly separated. Each has its own set of cores for internal vertical circulation. The lay-outs of each part follow their specific functional logic.

Project: Pierres Vives
Location: Montpellier, France
Date: 2002 / 2012
Client: Departement de l’Herault
Size: 35,000 m2

Architectural Design: Zaha Hadid
Project Architect: Stephane Hof

Local Architect:
Design Phase: Blue Tango
Execution Phase: Chabanne et Partenaires

Structure: Ove Arup & Partners
Services: Ove Arup & Partners (Concept Design) & GEC Ingenierie

Acoustics: Rouch Acoustique Nicolas Albaric
Cost: Gec LR, Ivica Knezovic