“L’Arbre Blanc” (White Tree) is the winner of the “Architectural Folie of the 21st Century” competition. The 17-stories mixed-use residential tower, inspired by the efficient properties of a tree and the outdoor living.
Images © Sou Fujimoto
Sou Fujimoto along with French practices Nicolas Laisné associés (NL*A) and Manal Rachdi Oxo architects, is the winning team chosen to construct the second architectural folly of the 21st century in Montpellier, France.
From the Winning Team: The new multipurpose tower called L’Arbre Blanc (The White Tree) is designed for housing, a restaurant, an art gallery, offices, a bar with a panoramic view and a common area. From the project’s concept phase, the architects were heavily inspired by Montpellier’s tradition of outdoor living. The tower is strategically located between the city centre and the newly developed districts of Port Marianne and Odysseum, midway between the ‘old’ and the new Montpellier.
It is also situated at the crossroads of several thoroughfares: the Lez River, the motorway and the pedestrian/cycling path along the banks of the octroi de Montpellier, or land grant. The project will kick off with a grand gesture to extend a landscaped park along the Lez and stretch out the length of Christophe Colomb Place. The eastern face curves along the edge of the roundabout while the western side on the Lez is convex to create the widest panorama possible. The curvature serves two purposes because this part of the facade offers the best exposure and viewpoint but does not block the view for neighboring residences.
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