WAN Awards 2015


WAN Mobile
WAN Mobile
Previous Next

Pierres Vives Building, Montpellier, France

Monday 10 Sep 2012

Special branch...

Images: Jean-Baptiste Maurice 
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 1

Add comments | More comments

13/10/12 Hajer Boulahbal, Shj
The details of the openings and spreading branches are AMAZING ! , when i looked at the building i knew it's Zaha's Hadid style, i think the building has strong design and concept .


Zaha Hadid Architects completes tree trunk-inspired Pierres Vives Building in Montpellier 

This coming Thursday, Zaha Hadid’s latest project in France will be inaugurated. The Pierres Vives Building in Montpellier, Southern France is a bold new addition to the landscape, bringing together three previously separate branches of the Herault regional government. Hadid has completed a handful of projects in France, the first being the surprisingly subtle Hoenheim-Nord Terminus and Car Park in Strasbourg, realised in 2001.

On this more recent scheme, the architect’s strong design aesthetic is much more apparent. The burgeoning city of Montpellier - the fastest growing city in France - has been injected with an amalgamation of concrete and green-tinted glass, within which the city archive, library and sports department are enveloped.

As design inspiration, Hadid looked to a felled tree, using the imagery of spreading branches to devise a network of passages and circulation routes to keep the three departments separate yet easily navigable within the 35,000 sq m facility. Each of the three areas has its own set of cores for internal vertical circulation.

Zaha Hadid Architects explains: “The archive is located at the solid base of the trunk, followed by the slightly more porous library with the sports department and its well-lit offices on top where the trunk bifurcates and becomes much lighter. The branches projecting off the main trunk are articulating the points of access and the entrances into the various institutions…In this way the tree-trunk analogy is exploited to organise and articulate the complexity of the overall ‘cite administrative’.”

The mass of raw concrete so often found in Hadid’s work is sliced through with a shot of green-tinted glass which runs the length of the building. This strip marks the main public artery on level one, leading to the reading rooms of the archives and the library, easing wayfinding and enabling generous daylighting for these public spaces.

While the epicentres of the archive, library and sports department are kept entirely independent from one another, there are certain areas which are for general usage such as the main auditorium and meeting rooms. These public function spaces are located in the immense cantilevering volume which overhangs the main entrance to Pierres Vives in a classic example of Hadid’s confident architectural expression.

Sian Disson
News Editor

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Zaha Hadid Architects

More projects by this architect

Bee’ah Headquarters

Sleuk Rith

The David and Claudia Harding Mathematics Gallery, Science Museum


Tokyo Olympic Stadium

Jockey Club Innovation Tower

City of Dreams Hotel Tower

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Aquatics Centre

Al Wakrah Stadium

Heydar Aliyev Center

Library & Learning Centre, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien

Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Related Companies Residential Building

Design Museum

Al Wakrah Stadium

One Thousand Museum

King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station

The Changsha Meixi Lake International Culture & Arts Centre

CityLife Milano

Wangjing SOHO / Meiquan 22nd Century

Japan National Stadium

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum

Galaxy SOHO

Zaha Hadid is 'Leading Woman'


Heydar Aliyev Fire

Zaha Hadid becomes a dame

NurnbergMesse Exhibition Centre

Innovation Tower, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Central Bank of Iraq Headquarters

Zaha Hadid Architects

Evelyn Grace Academy

Riverside Museum

Elk Grove Civic Center

Sheikh Zayed Bridge

Guangzhou Opera House


Aquatics Centre

Rabat Grand Theatre

Evelyn Grace Academy

Eleftheria Square

Library & Learning Centre – University of Economics & Business Vienna

Broad Museum Groundbreaking

King Abdullah II House of Culture & Art

Middle East Centre

Broad Art Museum, East Lansing

Aquatics Centre



Zaha Hadid Burnham Pavilion

J.S. Bach at Manchester Art Gallery

Seville University Library

Cairo Expo City

Stone Towers

Guangzhou Opera House

Burnham Pavilion

Regium Waterfront - Museum of the Mediterranean

Dorobanti Tower

Port House

Library and Learning Centre (LLC), University of Economics & Business

Riverside Museum

Venice Biennale

Capital Hill Residence

Farrer Road residential towers

2012 Olympic Aquatic Centre


Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion

Hermitage-Guggenheim Museum

Dellis Cay

Chanel mobile art

Madrid Civil Court of Justice

2012 Aquatic Centre

Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum

Lilium Tower

The Nordkettenbahnen funicular

Guangzhou Opera House

Innovation Tower for the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Peninsula of Zorrozaurre

Glasgow Transport Museum

Serpentine Gallery

The Opus Project

City Academy Project

Expocentre Exhibition Halls and Residential Tower Project

Aquatics Centre

Nuragic & Contemporary Art Museum

The Maggie's Centre

Pierres Vives

Forest of towers

Zaha Hadid: 30 Years of Architecture

Edifici Campus

University of Seville - library

Phaeno Science Centre

Aquatic Centre


Click here to view the NEWS IN PICTURES tablet site