Arbre Blanc: Futuristic Concept Grows on Judges of Design Competition in the South of France

Inspired by Montpellier’s tradition of outdoor living, a cross-cultural team of architects from Japan and France entered their futuristic design for a multipurpose tower into the “Folie Architecturale of the 21st Century” competition, and walked away as the winners.

The winning design, created by Sou Fujimoto Architects, Nicolas Laisné Associates and Manal Rachdi OXO Architects, is titled Arbre Blanc, which means “white tree.” The all-white tower is encircled by balconies that “sprout out” like the branches of a tree. According to the architects, “Arching like a pair of wings hugging the contours of the Lez River down to Pompignane Avenue, Arbre Blac was intentioned as a natural form that was carved out or sculpted over time by water or wind. It perfectly mimics a tree reshaping itself to grow into its environment, yet simultaneously enhancing it by offering much-needed shade.”

The 17-story tower will contain office space on the first floor and 120 residential units above. According to the architects, “The balconies are proportioned to make you gravitate toward the outdoors, like leaves fanning out to soak up the warm nourishing sunlight.” A café, which will be open to the public, will occupy the penthouse floor. Just like a tree, the tower will feed off its locally available natural resources to drastically reduce the energy it needs to expend. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015.

About The Author

Karen Brost

Karen Brost is a Scottsdale, Arizona-based writer who has been covering travel, lifestyle and business topics for over 15 years. A former Midwesterner, she traded her snow shovel for sun screen and never looked back. Like most writers, she has an inquisitive mind and her work has taken her on such diverse adventures as hiking to an active volcano in Hawaii, exploring the wonders of Petra in Jordan, hot air ballooning over the Rio Grande, sailing on an America's Cup yacht and donning a chef's coat to flip eggs in the kitchen of a five-diamond resort. Karen is always on the lookout for interesting story ideas and one of the things she enjoys most as a writer is interviewing people who are passionate about what they do. Among her assignments as a contributing writer for Jetset Magazine, Karen covers luxury travel destinations and develops profiles of top level executives. For editorial consideration please contact [email protected](dot)com.

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