Since the Parisian authorities launched the “Objective: 100 Hectares”, a program aiming to propagate plant-covered buildings and urban farming, the city has been getting greener from year to year. And the recently built mixed-use complex in the Parisian borough of Montparnasse continues this trend, bringing nature back to the capital of France.
Designed by the French-Brazilian firm Triptyque Architecture, in collaboration with renowned French architect and designer Philippe Starck, Villa M aims to create a new pact between cities, nature, and health. “We designed Villa M as a naturalist architectural manifesto: that is, a building of a new era, where man is no longer opposed to nature and the living,” state Olivier Raffaëlli and Guillaume Sibaud of Triptyque Architecture.
From the outside, the building resembles an overgrown cliff with lush greenery. The façade is formed by metallic structure beams that house medicinal herbal plants, fruit trees, and medium to large-sized perennial species. “The edifice itself is the support for this vertical garden, which will grow and occupy the entire façade, turning the building into a vertical, medicinal forest, and becoming the main architecture,” explains Olivier Raffaelli.
In addition to the reintegration of nature into the city through architecture, the project further contributes to sustainability, since it collaborates with the thermal comfort and, therefore, with the building’s energetic efficiency. “We have explored all of the available surfaces to potentialize the greenery and to avoid energy and carbon waste,” says Gui Sibaud, Triptyque partner and architect of Villa M. The environmental responsibility is also present in the basic and organic material choices, proposing a low-tech architecture.
The program imagined by Thierry Lorente and Amanda Lehmann of Groupe Pasteur Mutualité includes a hotel by Paris Society, a co-working space, and a dynamic healthcare-focused center. The hotel is designed as an enveloping and relaxing cocoon, with breathtaking views of the City of Light. Its 67 rooms and six suites are designed as green spaces. Some of them have a balcony or terrace to admire the Montparnasse and Invalides districts.
On the top floor, the RoofTop, with its incredible view of the Eiffel Tower, the Dôme des Invalides, and the roofs of Paris, remains an unparalleled experience. A suspended oasis is composed of fruit trees and plants, with large wooden armchairs, Canadian gardeners, wicker lamps, and garlands guinguettes installed.
PROJECT TITLE: Villa M
LOCATION: 24-30 Boulevard Pasteur, Paris, France
YEAR: 2015 – 2021
TOTAL AREA: 8,000 sqm (86,000 sqft)
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN: Olivier Raffaëlli & Guillaume Sibaud – Triptyque Architecture
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN AND ART DIRECTION OF THE SPACES: Philippe Starck
CLIENT: Groupe Pasteur Mutualité
ASSISTANT TO THE CONTRACTING AUTHORITY: SCPM Access, Guy Sanoian
LANDSCAPING: Coloco, Pablo Giorgef
BUILDING COMPANY: Eiffage Construction