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New districts and contemporary architecture

New districts and contemporary architecture

Over the years, Montpellier has become a mecca for modern architecture thanks to the great architects whose work has made it a top destination.

Places to discover

1. The Town Hall

A huge blue cube with metallic reflections that change with the sun, designed by architects Jean Nouvel and François Fontès, which is flanked by an imposing stone-paved square.

A high-performance building, it is located at the intersection between the old centre and the new districts of Port-Marianne, to the east of the city, on the banks of the Lez.

The town hall is designed as the flagship building of a port city, as imagined by Jacques Coeur as early as 1440, and by Mayor Pagézy at the end of the 19th century.


2. The Koh-i-Noor

The Jacques Coeur district is one of the most famous in Port-Marianne. It is built around a basin that recalls the shape of the Écusson, and consists of elegant buildings designed by renowned architects, whose roofs have penthouses.

A soothing atmosphere that gives the city a “Californian” feel.

Bernard Bühler’s Koh-i-Nor is a fine example of contemporary architecture, a glass-clad building that reflects the sun’s rays in different colours.


3. Antigone

Designed by the architect Ricardo Bofill in the 1980s and inspired by the architecture of ancient Greece, Antigone has allowed the city to develop towards the sea.

Built on the site of a former military field, the Antigone district is a one-kilometre long pedestrian axis designed to link the old centre to the river.

The spaces suggest a return to the origins of the cultural and architectural tradition of the Mediterranean.

The size of the squares is defined according to the geometric laws of proportion and harmony and according to the number of planned dwellings. The relationship between the horizontal plane and the sculptural elements is governed by the law of the golden ratio.


4. Pierresvives

PierresVives is the city of knowledge and sport for all in Montpellier, built at the beginning of the decade by the famous architect.
Zaha Hadid as a gigantic concrete vessel and houses, among other things, the archives and the departmental media library.

 

Practical information

Address

907, rue du Professeur Blayac, Montpellier

Prices

Free admission--
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5. Folie Divine

Folie divine is the first of the two “Folies” planned by the City of Montpellier – it was built by Farshid Moussavi and houses 36 homes and 260m2 of shops. Residential luxury revisited.


6. Le Nuage (Cloud)

This amazing building has a sort of honeycomb film as a façade. The ‘Nuage’, designed by the famous designer Philippe Starck, houses a restaurant, a fitness centre and a swimming pool.

It is one of the first inflatable constructions in Europe.
Around the concrete structure, a bubble-shaped membrane is inflated with air at 700 bar.

Practical information

Address

769 Avenue Raymond Dugrand, Montpellier
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7. Nouveau Saint-Roch and Higher Roch

Located between the train station and the Écusson, the new Saint-Roch district is an example of mixed use within the city.

This district, which will be finally completed by 2022, cleverly combines housing, offices and green spaces. The immaculate white Belaroia building opposite the station is home to the city’s largest hotel, and the Higher Roch tower being built a few hundred metres away will be the tallest building in the hyper-centre.


8. Lycée Georges Frêche

This school, located in the Odysseum district, trains for the hotel and restaurant trades. The fluid and elegant curves of the building, covered with thousands of small triangles, make it a resolutely singular work.

The building, designed by Massimiliano Fuksas, has a uniformly metallic appearance and includes an educational restaurant as well as a 4-star hotel – the Nelson Mandela – which is open during the week and run by the students.

Twelve rooms are available at low prices, for a unique experience in this new district.


9. Odysseum

Odysseum is a leisure and commercial centre, based in the east of Montpellier, which was designed as a logical extension of the city centre. A multiplex cinema, leisure facilities (skating rink, aquarium, planetarium, etc.), restaurants and numerous shops, including major brands, make up this complex served by the tramway.

Practical information

Address

2 place de Lisbonne, Montpellier
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10. The Arbre Blanc (White Tree)

Designed by Sou Fujimoto, Nicolas Laisné and Manal Rachdi, the Arbre Blanc, which rises to 56 metres, is the most astonishing building in Montpellier.

Completed in the summer of 2019, this 17-storey building with 193 balconies suspended on the banks of the Lez opposite the Antigone district is a technological feat.

And a gastronomic stopover, since the building includes a chic brasserie at the bottom of the tower and a tapas bar with a view over the whole of Montpellier on the top floor!

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