- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 01 Feb 2019
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 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.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Six technologies guiding O&M into the future.
Homes carved from sandstone cliffs in England.
A review of the HES pilot project.
Organisation alerts membership to findings of IHBC research.
Four outstanding professionals recognised.
Sustainable flooring from super strong grass.
Organisation presents reactions from industry leaders.
New infrastructure bank to be based in the North of England.
Fairer, faster, greener. A summary of the key points.
Strategies to help provide safer working conditions.
Protecting flora, fauna and the other natural features of Scotland.
Architecture considered somewhere between 'sublime and beautiful'.
Polish piano factory revived through an energy-oriented tune up.