Xerjoff Magazine

Arbre Blanc: a 17-story tree


Arbre Blanc -an original building whose shape is inspired by that of a tree- was recently inaugurated in Montpellier, the greenest city in France.

Montpellier can boast an enviable record, it features a 25% natural heritage equivalent to 43 square meters per inhabitant, making it the greenest city in France. It is no coincidence that the Arbre Blanc has been recently inaugurated in this town, a new residential building designed by Sou Fujimoto with the collaboration of other young French designers. The building is located on the edge of the Lez river, between downtown and the new districts Richter and Odysseum.

A mix between the bluntness of southern landscape and the essential purity typical of Japanese design characterizes Arbre Blanc. The project includes 17 floors, of which 15 housing 110 apartments, 144 parking spaces or basements, and fifty cellars. The first two levels host an art gallery, a restaurant and offices. A rooftop bar offers visitors a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. A further shared space on the top floor is reserved for the inhabitants. To make the project unique designers have designed a building inspired by a tree, with balconies that extend from the trunk, protected by white steel roofs that structure and make the external surfaces dynamic. The choice of providing numerous balconies and pergolas has been done to promote life outdoors and to encourage closer interactions between residents: each apartment boasts an outdoor area, each with a different size ranging from 7 to 35 m².