- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 21 Sep 2017
Mirage - Montparnasse Tower renovation
In September 2017, MAD Architects revealed designs for the renovation of Montparnasse Tower in central Paris, France. Titled ‘Mirage’, the design sees the controversial and imposing high-rise transformed into an elaborate reflective installation.
Montparnasse Tower was completed in 1973 and, at 210-m tall, was Paris’ tallest building, however, it drew immediate and consistent criticism for being overly intrusive, earning the nickname the ‘scar of Paris’.
An international competition was launched by the owner in 2016 to renovate of the tower.
An optical illusion is created by MAD’s design by setting each of the façade’s glass panels to a specific angle, turning the building into a monolithic concave mirror. The impression this aims to create is that neighbouring buildings are hanging in the sky, while the sky is reflected onto the building’s lower section.
Ma Yansong, who led the design for MAD, said:
“At the time when it was built, Montparnasse Tower, like the Eiffel Tower, represented the pride and achievements of its era. It is mankind’s worship of technology and power that has created this tyrannical monument. It stands out amidst classical Paris. Today, we cannot really demolish this building and the historical regrets it stands for, but we can establish a new perspective to re-examine and think about how humanity can co-exist and interact with the tower and its environment, to bring meaning to our hearts.”
Content and images courtesy of MAD Architects.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
BRE partner with Global GreenTag to develop an Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard for Australia.
The Chartered Quality Institute explain the pathway to success for organisations implementing management systems.
An introductory article looking at where a duty of care can arise in the construction industry.
House of Lords committee encourages the use of off-site manufacturing in new report.
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can go some way to show the impact of new buildings on their surroundings.
The shortlist for the 2018 prize for the UK's best new building is revealed.
Amendment to Bill aims to provide councils with greater powers to increase tax premiums on empty homes.
As the latest summer blockbuster 'Skyscraper' is released, we look at some of the best uses of buildings in film.
Read our introductory article on how to layout a building.
New cross-party report calls for combustible cladding ban to be extended to all high-rise residential buildings.