Getting on the right track in Nice

Nick Myall
24 Mar 2017

Studio Libeskind and Compagnie de Phalsbourg announced two new projects at MIPIM last week

Compagnie de Phalsbourg (Paris) unveiled two competition winning projects by Studio Libeskind (New York) during the international property market MIPIM in Cannes, France recently. A mixed-use commercial centre connected to Thiers Train Station in Nice, France and a 150m high Garden Tower in the Heart of the Business District in Toulouse.

“With these important projects in two of the main French cities, we unveil our new development strategy to create urban mixed-use buildings. Once completed, both will become new landmarks for Nice and Toulouse. With Studio Libeskind, we are up to great things!” says Philippe Journo, CEO, Compagnie de Phalsbourg.

The first of the two projects is in Nice, France. Studio Libeskind in collaboration with Fevrier Carre Architectes and landscape architect Jean Mus has been selected to design the “Gare Thiers-Est” (East Thiers Station), the result of an international competition sponsored by the City of Nice.

The project is part of a major urban redevelopment of Thiers central station (€ 61.5m in ongoing investments) and its surroundings. The project involves the design of 18,300 sq m of high-end commercial space featuring shops, restaurants with panoramic views of the city, as well as a Hilton hotel, a 600-seat auditorium, co-working spaces and terraced cafes.

The project will reconnect the urban fabric by creating new pedestrian connections between the station and the street and will reconnect the North and South neighbourhoods that are currently separated by the railways and the Pierre-Mathis road.

“This project represents the forward thinking of the City of Nice to create a major architectural landmark and to rejuvenate the surrounding area near the Theirs Station in this historic city,” said architect Daniel Libeskind. “For Nice, my aim was to create a building that is seen from all angles— that will become the connective tissue between two sectors and reconnect the neighbourhoods. It will serve to reflect the city, the light and the landscape, "explains Libeskind.

Inspired by the mineral forms of azurite, each peak is conceived as a harmonious crystallization whose edges speak to Avenue Jean Médecin. The reflective façade is covered with metal as facets and scales with serigraphs on the windows that reflect the neighbouring buildings, sky and landscape of Nice. The result is a sculptural, concrete, steel and glass set, cut like a diamond, with multiple faces rising nearly 40m high to obscure the rail tracks.

The strong architectural identity of the project will be visible from the avenues Thiers and Jean Médecin as well as from the railway area. Treating the roof like a fifth façade, it inscribes into the landscape of the urban environment of Nice and will be visible from the hills. One of the spectacular elements will be its prow, z cantilevered main facade emerging on Avenue Jean Médecin. It will also provide a covered connection between the train station and the Jean-Médecin tram station.

Construction is slated to begin in late 2017 with expected completion at the end of 2019.

See separate project write up for details of the second project in Toulouse, France.

The WAN Awards Future Projects category is now open until 30th June.

Click here for more details or email wanawards@haymarket.com

Nick Myall

News editor

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