Tipped to build the future Delta tower in Auderghem, Sou Fujimoto is going to design a huge wooden structure at the gates of Paris.
While he has recently designed a new tower at the gates of Auderghem (Delta), the Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto has won the contest Inventons la Métropole du Grand Paris (Let’s invent the metropolis of greater Paris) with his mixed project, Vertical Village. It is a mixed-use project combining housing, offices and sports facilities.
The project has been presented as a poetic skyline and has been designed as a plant village. The 3D renderings show two buildings that are typical of Fujimoto’s style and that are linked by a bridge. The buildings are composed of small white pillars that support irregular canopies, luxury glass facades and a multitude of vegetated balconies and roofs. A wood frame will expand on the whole building up to the 17th floor.
The Vertical Village has a height of 50 meters and a width of 120 metres. It covers a total area of 28.200 m2, including 5.300 m2 of office space, 17.000 m2 of housing and 5.000 m2 of social housing. The common area of 6000 m2 will be divided between the ground floor and the roofs. Many shared and private outdoor spaces will be scattered around the building, creating a green continuity with restaurants, a nursery, a community centre and a panoramic bar. The sports centre will extend over the entire height of part of the complex, and it will be equipped with climbing walls, a gym and other sports facilities.
Reconcile the city and its inhabitants
As in Auderghem, the plot is located at the entrance of the city, in a transition zone between areas of economic and commercial activities and residential neighbourhoods, which are mostly low-rise. It is structured around three principles: iconic architecture, diversified functions, and a concrete and ambitious ecological approach. “Our ambition is to reconstruct an urban seam between the city centre of Paris and its suburbs, which need a huge rejuvenation. Vertical Village will be developed in a phased manner in the skyline of the Metropolis of Grand Paris and will reach up to 50m of height“, sketches Paul Jarquin, CEO of REI Habitat, the company that carries out projects in 100 % wood.
Like other Japanese architects, Sou Fujimoto creates a new typology of buildings. Obsessed by lightness, white and the in-between, he intends to reconcile nature and architecture and to propose a new way of living. In February 2014, he had already won, in collaboration with the French Nicolas Laisné and Manal Rachdi, a contest organised by the city of Montpellier. The challenge: to design a mixed tower of 10.000 m2 with housing accommodation, a restaurant, an art gallery, a panoramic bar and offices. His building, still under construction, will make history in Europe. The Arbre Blanc (the White Tree), 56m in height, has been designed so that its inhabitants can live outside and enjoy the Mediterranean climate: the 193 balconies-terraces (the branches of the tree) are sometimes as large as the flats on which they depend. A challenge to gravity, which will be completed this year.