Architecture

MAD Architects proposes skyscraper that reflects Paris upside down

MAD Architects proposes skyscr...
The highlight of the design is the way it flips Eiffel Tower upside down
The highlight of the design is the way it flips Eiffel Tower upside down
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The concept behind the concave mirror facade
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The concept behind the concave mirror facade
The bold concept flips the city upside down
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The bold concept flips the city upside down
From any angle the reflection makes the city seem like it is floating in mid-air
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From any angle the reflection makes the city seem like it is floating in mid-air
The MAD design made the shortlist but sadly wasn't successful
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The MAD design made the shortlist but sadly wasn't successful
From nouvelle AOM, this was the winning design set to quickly move into construction 
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From nouvelle AOM, this was the winning design set to quickly move into construction 
The highlight of the design is the way it flips Eiffel Tower upside down
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The highlight of the design is the way it flips Eiffel Tower upside down
The MAD Mirage
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The MAD Mirage
View gallery - 7 images

The latest proposal from the aptly named superstar design firm MAD Architects, is called Mirage. The design was shortlisted after an international competition called for proposals to redesign the 59-storey Tour Montparnasse, the last skyscraper to be built in Paris back in 1973. The Mirage proposes to cover the facade of the black monolithic building in concave mirrors creating an upside-down reflection of the city.

The landmark skyscraper has been a source of contention in the city for years, with some referring to it as the "scar of Paris" intruding over the city's skyline. MAD's redesign concept covers the entire building in reflective glass panels set to a specific angle turning the skyscraper into a giant concave mirror.

The MAD design made the shortlist but sadly wasn't successful
The MAD design made the shortlist but sadly wasn't successful

The resulting effect flips the city upside-down, essentially creating a mirage of Paris that looks as if it is floating in the air. The concept fascinatingly engages directly with the visage of the Eiffel Tower, offering a compelling giant flipped reflection of the iconic structure.

"At the time when it was built, Montparnasse Tower, like the Eiffel Tower, represented the pride and achievements of its era. It is mankind's worship of technology and power that has created this tyrannical monument," says MAD lead architect, Ma Yansong.

"It stands out amidst classical Paris. Today, we cannot really demolish this building and the historical regrets it stands for, but we can establish a new perspective to re-examine and think about how humanity can co-exist and interact with the tower and its environment, to bring meaning to our hearts."

Sadly the building didn't make the final cut after reaching the final shortlist of seven. The winning design, from a consortium of three firms called nouvelle AOM, was a more conservative, although still impressive, proposal that offered a current "green" makeover aesthetic for the facade.

From nouvelle AOM, this was the winning design set to quickly move into construction 
From nouvelle AOM, this was the winning design set to quickly move into construction 

Take a look at an animated visualization of the mirror concept in the video below.

Source: MAD architects

Amour des Tours - MAD Architects produced by MIR

View gallery - 7 images
3 comments
piperTom
"MAD" is surely an apt name for this design. Didn't anyone think of the image it would create of The Sun? Even now there is a building in London with a concave, mirrored face and it is "melting cars"! Just ask "internationally renowned architect Rafael Viñoly" about the effect!
Zhenocnra
@piperTom That probably won't be an issue they care about seeing as how Paris just wants to get rid of cars in the city to begin with.
Fairly Reasoner
Also under the heading of, "just because you can, doesn't mean that you should."