Studio Libeskind’s architectural proposal for Port Marianne in Montpellier, France, combines the historic context with optimism for the future of the city.
Located on the Rive Gauche quarter on Plaza Pablo Picasso, the plan is entitled, La Madoura after the famous Pablo Picasso ceramics that were inspired by the materials of earth and the light of the Mediterranean Sea. The master plan is configured on the basis of the human scale and the poetry of forms that infuse this urban complex with color and texture, variety, and detail.
La Madura is conceived as a curved band beginning and ending at Plaza Pablo Picasso. The roofs describe a descending and ascending line beginning with the residential ‘tower’ on Pablo Picasso and the social housing on Avenue Raymond Dugrand.
The beginning and end of the band create a dramatic opening towards Plaza Pablo Picasso with the verticality of the tower on one side and the inclined wall of the offices on the other. The residential tower has long undulating bands of balconies that are segmented by oblique vertical columns. Glazed balcony railings alternate with solid ones adding further variety. In the upper zone, horizontal bands and vertical lines transition to ‘boxes’ of solid walls and glazed openings.