London firm Farshid Moussavi Architecture has won a competition to design an apartment block in Montpellier, Southern France. Les Jardins de la Lironde in Montpellier is residential complex of elegant homes on the outskirts of the city – Les Folies Montpellieraines as eighteenth century bourgeoisie called it.
Continuing its tradition of innovative architecture, the city has commissioned the first prize winner to design first of twelve folies to be built. The site of the future residential tower is located in the green surrounding on the periphery. In order to minimize the impact on the landscape of the site, the tiny high-rise is designed to have smallest possible footprint. In order to decrease size of the floor plans, the area of shared communications and internal circulation space in general are designed as least possible, therefore providing the maximum amount of privacy.
Five different unit typologies are distributed four on each floor of Lot 2, which are dual aspect, benefiting from multiple views and natural cross-ventilation. Refusing to adopt orthogonal geometry, the curvilinear floor plates provide multi-directional visual communication between the inside and the outside. Due to irregular curvilinear design, the building has an advantage of large self-shading parts of the exterior envelope – the curvature on the north side is more gradual while it is more acute on the southern exposure. As a substitute, the areas of the façade which are not self-shaded are provided with operable louvers, which add vitality to the building.
Construction of these 2430 square meters of residential space is slated to begin in 2014.