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Local Matters / Architecture & Landmarks

Who will Oversee the Renovation of Montparnasse Tower?

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Two architects are in the running to oversee the renovation of Montparnasse Tower as part of a wider redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood. 

At the end of summer, the contest started in June 2016 will end and one of two architecture firms will begin to oversee the renovation of Montparnasse Tower. The 209-meter tall skyscraper has, according to many, blighted the Paris skyline for 44 years now and a facelift will be a welcome change to many locals.

AOM, the Agence pour l’operation Maine-Montparnasse, and Studio Gang are the two finalist architecture firms vying it out for the honor. The former is a grouping of three French firms made up of five architects while Studio Gang is an American practice, perhaps most famous for the Aqua Tower in Chicago (pictured below right).

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Aqua Tower, Chicago © FLickr

The cost of the renovation of Montparnasse Tower – estimated to be around 300 million euros – will be entirely covered by the building’s co-owners. Members include the 450 companies renting or owning office space and 300 individuals who own portions.

In a press statement, they stress the importance of “injecting a strong, innovative, dynamic and ambitious identity into the building, all the while accommodating the needs of usage, comfort and energy performance.”

The two firms, chosen ahead of five others at the end of May, have until September to formulated a fully costed plan which will be presented to the co-ownership to decide upon. Work is planned to start in 2019 with a 2023 finish date. The Paris town hall’s Head of Urbanism Jean-Louis Missika spoke of the wider implication of the project and how impressed he was with the two teams.

“The two finalists have masterfully gotten to grips with the challenges presented. Their plans will adapt Montparnasse Tower to the 21st century, and will create a new symbol of the architectural modernity of Paris.”

Perhaps the project will finally put an end to the hackneyed saying that the Montparnasse tower has the best view of Paris, that is the only one where you can’t see it. Existing apartment prices in the neighborhood of the same name (in the adjoining 14th arrondissement) currently sit at around €10,000 per m2.

With neighborhoods not so far away in the 6th and 7th arrondissement averaging €15,000 per m2, the potential for this to have a positive effect on property prices around the tower is being eagerly awaited by investors and property owners alike.

 

image © Wikicommons

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