Paris in this week’s round up

All you need to know from past seven days is Tour Montparnasse competition in Paris. Nouvelle AOM won. Let’s just focus on that and leave other news aside.

Who they are? Nouvelle AOM is a team of three architectural firms – Franklin Azzi Architecture, ChartierDalix Architectes and Hardel et Le Bihan Architectes. Pretty young by architectural standards. All of the main partners are 40 something. The name Nouvelle AOM (The New AOM) derives from the original team which worked on the project from 50s to 70s – AOM: Agence pour l’Opération Maine-Montparnasse.

↑ nouvelle AOM

Why Tour Montparnasse competition is important? Tour Montparnasse is the most hated building in Paris. This 210 meter tall tower is standing alone south on the axis of Eiffel tower. Quickly after it’s completion in 1973 construction of buildings taller than 7 floors was banned in Paris for 42 years. This competition was seen an important face-lift operation for the city before Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

How does a winning project look like? It looks kind of boring. It might be that the most simple, rational project won. It won’t change Paris skyline drastically, just add some powder.

Any plans? Sure. Got you covered. Plans and sections are down below.

↑ Ground floor plan

↑ Lobby

↑ Plans 9-59

↑ Section

↑ Section

Animation/video? Sure.

Who else participated in the competition? Total of seven companies worked on this project ranging from traditional corporate to expressively artistic. Architecture Studio (France), Dominique Perrault Architecture (France), MAD Architects (China) + DGLA (France), Nouvelle AOM (France), OMA (The Netherlands), PLP Architecture (UK), Studio Gang (USA).

Where can I see other projects? There is a booklet for the competition with all projects. You can download it here:

Booklet Tour Montparnasse.

What does this all mean? Basically nothing. New face-lift does not change a fact that this is a private corporate office tower standing alone in the skyline of Paris. If the city will pursue it’s harsh policy on high-rises, this tower in any case will look as a strange mistake. It is also doubtful that final product will have same feel as in Luxigon’s renders. Red, green, perfectly aligned lights? Give me a break. Lush gardens on the top? We all know what happened to an infamous London’s sky garden in the Walkie-talkie – something pathetic. But it was a good PR stunt from the developers, creating all this cool buzz. Even picking a crazy-ass Studio Gang’s project as a second finalist, showing artistic and more ambitious side.

Probably the most beautiful part of this competition is that winning architects are exactly same age as the building.


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