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26 March 2021 Comments (0) Architecture, Other, Real Estate

When architecture builds bridges between different worlds

An office building will create a symbolic link between two fundamentally different neighbourhoods. 

Carlo Ratti Associati has designed a new mixed-use office building in Nanterre (Paris), called ILOW. Created with Bouygues Immobilier , the project was designed to serve as a bridge between the La Défense office district, the financial powerhouse of the French capital, and the Tours Nuages, one of the most emblematic social housing projects of the after-war period. These majestic buildings with soft shapes were designed by the architect Émile Aillaud between 1973 and 1981.

The new building has two wings, which evoke the shape of “open arms”, symbolically connecting two very different socio-economic districts. In the middle of the building, a public space, a central green courtyard which links ILOW to the neighbouring public park. The project provides for 12,500m2 of mixed space, including offices, a restaurant and a café.

Paris entre quartiers © Carlo Ratti Associati

Paris entre quartiers © Carlo Ratti Associati

A unifying project

To further accentuate this openness to the public, the ground floor is transparent and accessible to passers-by, which fosters the diversity of the different communities, while a garden has been installed on the roof of the building. 

We try to use design to promote encounters between different people, cultures and social groups“, explains Carlo Ratti, whose offices are based in Turin, with branches in London and New York. “We use architecture to build bridges between different social worlds“.

ILOW, the name of the project, refers to an island (of greenery) and also evokes the low energy consumption of the building. It will be completed in the course of 2021.

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