Mad Architects’ Proposal for Montparnasse Tower: a ‘Mirage’ in Paris
In July 2016, Maine-Montparnasse Tower Real Estate Group (EITMM) held an international architectural competition to choose the best renovation project for the Montparnasse Tower. More than 700 architecture studios took part in it. By July 2017, only two firms, Studio Gang (USA) and Nouvelle AOM (France), were still in the race. The latter was eventually announced to be the winner in October 2017.
Nevertheless, these companies were not the only ones to stand out during the final rounds of the competition, as proved by the attention drawn around Chinese studio MAD Architects’ proposal. MAD Architects’ project was to transform the skyscraper’s simple form, large volume, and monolithic appearance into a huge ‘mirror’ by using concave principles.
As a landmark of Paris, the Montparnasse Tower, because of its disharmonious existence in the Parisian urban landscape, has been the target of harsh criticism since it was built in 1973. The works will start at the end of 2019 and are planned to be over for Paris 2024 Summer Olympics. The renovation of the tower is also part of a larger urban project aiming at remodelling the whole Montparnasse area.