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 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 (Credit: nouvelle AOM / RSI studio / IDA+)

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

Source: MAD architects

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