late last year, the first images of montpellier’s ‘l’arbre blanc’ or ‘white tree’ development were revealed. now, with the project complete, photographer nils koenning visited the site to document the building as part of the french city’s evolving urbanscape. designed by sou fujimoto architects, as part of a larger team, the 17-storey mixed-use tower accommodates residential units, office space, an art gallery, a restaurant, and a panoramic bar.

sou fujimoto's 'white tree' in montpellier photographed by nils koenning
all images © nils koenning

 

 

as well as sou fujimoto architects, the project team also included nicolas laisné, dimitri roussel, and OXO architectes. described as a ‘cross-cultural endeavor’, the scheme combines japanese and mediterranean styles. the site is strategically located between montpellier’s city center and the newly developed areas of port marianne and odysseum — midway between the town’s old and new districts.

sou fujimoto's 'white tree' in montpellier photographed by nils koenning

 

 

the 10,000-square-meter building was designed to appear as though it had grown organically out of the ground. protruding from the façade, the scheme’s various ‘branches’ provide selected areas of shade for adjacent properties. the tower also welcomes montpellier’s residents and visitors with a ground floor restaurant and art gallery, and a penthouse bar that provides panoramic views towards the ocean and neighboring mountain range. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

sou fujimoto's 'white tree' in montpellier photographed by nils koenning

sou fujimoto's 'white tree' in montpellier photographed by nils koenning

sou fujimoto's 'white tree' in montpellier photographed by nils koenning

sou fujimoto's 'white tree' in montpellier photographed by nils koenning

sou fujimoto's 'white tree' in montpellier photographed by nils koenning

sou fujimoto's 'white tree' in montpellier photographed by nils koenning

sou fujimoto's 'white tree' in montpellier photographed by nils koenning

sou fujimoto's 'white tree' in montpellier photographed by nils koenning

 

 

project info:

 

architects: sou fujimoto architects, nicolas laisné, dimitri roussel, and OXO architectes
location:
montpellier, france
status: complete
photography: nils koenning