L’Arbre Blanc von Sou Fujimoto Architects, Nicolas Laisné, Dimitri Roussel und OXO Architectes
Foto: Cyrille Weiner
"An icon originating from a Tokyo architectural office and now stylishly soaring against the sky in the south of France" – this is how Sou Fujimoto Architects describes 'L’Arbre Blanc' in Montpellier. Following extensive tests involving physical models and digital simulation, a new tower typology has come about in which the focus is placed on the human dimension.
Devised according to the cantilever bridge principle and complemented with pergolas and wind screens, the balconies stand out, quite literally. Varying in size between 7 and 35 square metres, the projecting slabs branch out from around the white tree trunk, thus enabling a new form of interaction between the residents. The surfaces of these exterior elements protect the facade, provide shade and optimise the circulation of air.
Installing the balcony structures involved mounting two posts each to the uncovered floor slabs and bolting two girders to the façade, after which the made-to-measure platforms of the individual storeys were lifted into place by a crane. The glass-walled ground floor features an art gallery while a penthouse bar is located at the top of the tower. Resistance to possible impacts from earthquakes occurring in Montpellier is enhanced by the lightweight metal façade.
Project management: Marie-Laure Coste-Grange
Construction works management: CAP Conseil, icK
Landscape designer: Now Here Studio
Engineering: André Verdier (Structure), ARGETEC (Fluids), Franck Boutté Consultants (Environmental), VPEAS (Cost management), Relief GE (Surveying, Roads and services), Les Eclaireurs (Lighting), SOCOTEC (Inspection), Efectis (Fire performance)
Subcontractors: Fondeville (Carcass), Languedoc Etanchéité, SPCM (Steel structure), CIPRES (Façades), ENGIE (Electricity), Midi-Thermique (HVAC)
Surface: 10,225 m2