Each summer, the French cities of Montpellier and La Grande Motte host Le Festival Des Architectures Vives (Festival of Lively Architecture). These twin festivals seek to raise awareness about architecture among the public, and to give needed exposure to the work of up-and-coming designers. In the process, they also draw attention to previously unknown places in the two cities—in Montpellier, many of the private courtyards in the city are opened to the public specifically for the festival. In La Grande Motte, the exhibition weaves its way through the city center, a site designated as “Heritage of the 20th Century” due to the prevalence of works designed by architect Jean Balladur. This year’s festivals featured a total of 18 temporary installations. Read more about the festivals, and view photos, after the break.
The City of Montpellier has chosen Sou Fujimoto Architects, Nicolas Laisné Associés and Manal Rachdi Oxo architects’ “White Tree (L’Arbre Blanc)” as winner of the “Architectural Folie of the 21st Century” competition. Inspired by the city’s tradition of outdoor living, and the efficient properties of a tree, the mixed-use residential tower will feed off locally available natural resources as it rises 17-stories and connects the new and old districts of Montpellier.
BIG has been announced as the winner of an international design competition for the new Cité du Corps Humain (Museum of the Human Body) in Montpellier. Rooted in the city’s long medical history and world renowned medical school, which dates back to the 10th century, the 7,800 sqm museum will “explore the human body from an artistic, scientific and societal approach through cultural activities, interactive exhibitions, performances and workshops.”
Its design, orchestrated by eight undulating forms which “weave together” to create an underlying continuous space, will serve as a mediator between nature and city – Charpak Park and the Montpellier city hall. Stunning views, access to daylight and critical internal connections will all be revealed by the Museum’s shifting form.
Read on for more from the architect…
This unconventional stack of shifting floor plates forms what will soon be a new, 36-unit apartment block in French city of Montpellier. City officials released the news this week, naming Farshid Moussavi Architecture as winner of the Jardins de la Lironde competition.
The 11-story tower’s unique shape will offer residents expansive balconies with coastal views and a ground level restaurant. Construction is expected to begin in 2014, marking the first phase of a master plan to construct 12 new buildings in the Port Marianne district.
More images and plans of the Jardins de la Lironde tower after the break…
The renowned Montpellier architecture firm A+ Architecture has been entrusted with the project of building a new site at the domaine d’O, the Jean-Claude Carrière theatre. A unique and environmentally friendly project, the project is based on a global environmental approach aiming for general energy efficiency and for environmental quality standards. Other than the slab that supports it, the entire structure could be dismantled and rebuilt on a different site. The unique design is enhanced by a light wooden lozenge structure recovering the entire building. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Architects: Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas
Location: 401, rue le Titien 34000 Montpellier, France
Year: 2007-2012: competition 2007, won competition April 2007, building site January 2010, Inauguration September 2012
Project Team: Damon Belusco (project leader), Michele D’Arcangelo, Nicola Cabiati (model), Ana Gugic (interiors)
Client: Région Languedoc-Roussillon
Contractors: GFC – structure, SMAC – façades, BARSALOU – frames
Consultants: ALTIA – Acoustics, NEVEUX-ROUYER – Landscape Architects, ALMA Consulting – Kitchen design
Net surface: 23,600 sq.m.
Gross surface: 25,736.80 sq.m.
Area surface:16,500 sq.m.
Created by Paul Scales and Atelier Kit for the 7th annual ‘Le Festival des Architectures Vives ’ in Montpellier, France, Reframe explores the theme of ‘surprise’ through the creation of an object that reframes the relation of the visitor to the space, the historic architecture and the other visitors. The festival is comprised of an architectural walking tour through the historic city center where heritage sites are opened up to modern architecture. Visitors experience a shift from the position of observer to observed, from control to controlled and willingly or not, become engaged in a game of surprise and be surprised. More images and architects’ description after the break.
In response to the challenges faced by the University of Montpelier South of France, the teamwork of architects N+B, C+D and Hitoshi Abe worked to develop a distributed network based upon environmental, mental and social ecologies for A Campus Lived for a Sensory City. Their project demonstrates a dynamic articulation with the city while presenting their ideas for a contemporary urban design. More images and architect’s description after the break.
Japanese architects MoNo were selected as one of exhibitors for the 5th Festival of Lively Architecture in Montpellier, France, becoming the first winner from Asia in this competition. For 4 days starting June 17th, they opened the installation art work “Ukigumo – Floating Clouds” at one of the certified historical architecture sites in Montpellier old town.
You can see more images and a video of the installation after the break.