In the international architectural competition seeking to redesign Paris' infamous Montparnasse Tower, a winner has just been picked. From the list of seven candidates that made it on the shortlist (including heavy hitters like OMA, Studio Gang, Dominique Perrault), the proposal "Mirage" by Beijing-based MAD Architects stands out for going beyond a mere building renovation and turning the imposing 58-story structure also into an artistic lighting installation that reflects the city upside down.
“At the time when it was built, Montparnasse Tower, like the Eiffel Tower, represented the pride and achievements of its era," MAD Architects principal Ma Yansong explains. "It is mankind’s worship of technology and power that has created this tyrannical monument. It stands out amidst classical Paris. Today, we cannot really demolish this building and the historical regrets it stands for, but we can establish a new perspective to re- examine and think about how humanity can co-exist and interact with the tower and its environment, to bring meaning to our hearts.”
From MAD's project description: "[...] design uses concave principles to create an optical illusion by setting every glass panel of the façade to a specific angle, so that the building itself turns into a city-scale concave mirror. The streets and rooftops of the neighboring buildings appear as if they are hanging in the sky; while the sky is mirrored onto the lower section of the building, blending into the atmosphere. The design creates a mirage of Paris, but upside-down, as if it is floating in the air. And, Paris’ other city landmark, the Eiffel Tower, will also appear upside down when looking at Montparnasse Tower from that direction."
Directors in Charge: Ma Yansong, Qun Dang, Yosuke Hayano
Associates in Charge: Kin Li, Andrea D’Antrassi
Design Team: LI Guangchong, Jordan Kanter, Jacob Hu, Marco Gastoldi, Matthew Pugh, Felix Amiss, YAN Ran, Casey Kell, BEN Yuqiang, ZHAO Meng, Rozita Kahirtseva, Torsten Radunski, Young Kang, LI Liang
Lead Architect: MAD Architects
Executive Architect: DGLa
Structural Engineers: TERRELL
MEP Engineers: NOX ingénierie
Façade Consultant: VS-A
Façade - Reflection Consultant: ELXIR / PHILPPE BOMPAS
Fire Prevention: CSD FACES
Acoustic Consultant: ACOUSTIQUE ET CONSEIL
Lighting Consultant: L’observatoire international / Hervé Descottes
Environmental Consultant: NOX Oxygène
Asbestos Reclamation: NOX CURAGE DESAMIANTAGE DEMOLITION
Lift Consultants: MOVVEO
Video produced by MIR.
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