An open international competition has been launched for a £250 million overhaul of Paris’ opinion-splitting Montparnasse Tower
Backed by building-owner Ensemble Immobilier Tour Maine-Montparnasse – the contest seeks proposals to return the 210 metre-tall landmark to its ‘former glory’.
Designed by Eugène Beaudouin, Urbain Cassan and Louis Hoym de Marien – the controversial 59-storey building triggered a 40-year ban on towers in the French capital shortly after its completion in 1973.
Jean-Louis Missika, assistant to the mayor of Paris, commented: ‘We welcome this competition that will breathe new life into the Montparnasse Tower and adapt its usage to the 21st century.
‘The renovation of the tower is an opportunity to initiate a thorough transformation of the area in terms of public spaces, traffic and programming and it will also be an opportunity to turn the page on the “above the street urban planning” that has alienated Parisians living in the Montparnasse neighbourhood.’
Architect and project coordinator Jean-Marie Duthilleul added: ‘All of the proposals from the international competition are possible – we’re accepting surprises.’
Located in the Montparnasse district – the epicentre of the artistic world in the 1920s – the skyscraper was the tallest skyscraper in France until 2011.
Today the structure in Paris’ low-rise 15th arrondissement – which features offices, a restaurant and a viewing terrace – is the 17th tallest building in the European Union.
The winning team – set to be announced in spring next year – will upgrade the façade, reconfigure ground floor circulation spaces and bring the structure up to current environmental standards.
The project will also remove any remaining asbestos from the building while improving accessibility and energy performance.
First announced last year, the renovation is part of a larger programme of works – dubbed Demain Montparnasse – which will regenerate the entire 2.5 hectare surrounding the iconic structure.
Potential upgrades include enlarging a 30,000m² shopping centre at the tower’s base and erecting a new hotel and housing within existing plaza.
The redevelopment is expected to complete by 2024 when the city is bidding to host the Summer Olympics. The winning host city – contested by Rome, Budapest and Los Angeles – will be announced in September 2017.
The deadline for applications is 13 July.
How to apply