One of the most controversial skyscrapers in Europe is getting a new lease on life. French studio Nouvelle AOM — a consortium of Franklin Azzi ArchitectureChartier-Dalix, and Hardel + Le Bihan Architectes — has been chosen to revitalize the 210-metre-tall Tour Montparnasse, which stirred discontent in Paris when it was completed in 1973.

The reimagined Tour Montparnasse, image via Nouvelle AOM

The €300 million makeover will attempt to alleviate some of the derision the tower has faced since its erection. The monolithic structure, which was the tallest building in the city next to the Eiffel Tower, was confronted with stiff backlash condemning its scale and opaque appearance. The uproar was so severe that it sparked a ban on buildings over seven storeys tall, a harsh restriction that was only lifted recently.

A conservatory will crown the skyscraper, image via Nouvelle AOM

The most conspicuous elements of the plan are the vegetated spaces. The lower levels of the building will be infused with plantings, while the pinnacle is opened up to reveal a conservatory. Tour Montparnasse will maintain its primary purpose as an office building, but will also welcome a hotel and additional gardens and viewing platforms on the 14th floor. 

Rendering of the refreshed development, image via Nouvelle AOM

The owners of the property put out a call to redesign the tower last year, with approximately 700 architecture firms answering the request for proposals. It was gradually whittled down to a handful of high-profile practices, including MAD, OMA and Studio Gang. The overhaul is expected to start in 2019 and complete just in time for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Tour Montparnasse, image by Flickr user Paolo Rosa via Creative Commons

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Related Companies:  Chartier-Dalix, Franklin Azzi Architecture, Hardel and Le Bihan Architectes, Nouvelle AOM