Port Marianne Koh-I-Noor, à MontpellierPort Marianne Koh-I-Noor, à Montpellier
©Port Marianne Koh-I-Noor, à Montpellier|OT3M
Architecture and design Contemporary discovery of Montpellier

Capital of architecture and design

I think it’s the first thing you notice when you visit Montpellier: its one-of-a-kind architecture. I made the most of a short stop in the city to visit Montpellier Contemporain. Fancy it? Come along and join me on an eye-opening day out!

Saint-Roch Train Station Start

Rendez-vous with design
I admit, my mission is fairly unique: I’ve come to see the side of Montpellier that many may miss. I’m into the city’s trendy architecture. It’s so true to its time.

Set off from the white nave

It’s 9.53am when I get off the train this morning. I’m so pleased to be here, I’ve been looking forward to it! I take the lift to the station’s concourse and what a surprise! A kind of huge nave with white walls looms above me. It’s like being in a future-forward church, which is fairly unique in itself!

A design-led tram
Now I’m on a blue tram dotted with white swallows, it’s a first for me. There are more in gold, with green and orange flowers… that’s pretty unique too.

Design-led education

I end my tour… in a college. Yes, you read that right! Lycée Georges Frêche to be precise! You can’t miss this structure, it’s like a puzzle with aluminium triangle pieces: what a genius idea Massimiliano Fuksas had bringing students into a futuristic vessel!

It gets you thinking! I buy myself a chocolate éclair from the school’s cake shop and am pleased I’ve decided to go on a little detour: firstly because the éclair is delicious but mainly because I’m greeted by an incredible piece of art: a giant green whisk. Emulsion is by the French artist Matali Crasset. When you hear that the whisk is to mayonnaise what learning and knowledge are to students, it all makes sense. Especially here!

Top tip
Lycée Georges Frêche has its own restaurant, brasserie, hotel and shop: visit and pick up pastries, bread, cake and dishes made by the students themselves.