XTU architects builds multi-use complex in paris with a screen-printed glass façade

by Hans Henzen

for their latest project, XTU architects presents ‘axiom’ – a multi-purpose building in paris that provides office, hotel and retail space. the project is conceived as a city entrance, but also a gateway to the thirteenth arrondissement. planned as a new neighborhood around a park, the proposal aims to represent the new aspirations of parisians, which is to create more biodiversity and bring nature back into the city.

the development is planned by XTU as a series of ‘meandering volumes’, which offer landscape continuity. the volumes themselves are staggered as they are stacked on top of each other, allowing for planted terraces and cantilevers at the ends of the block. in this way, the monolithic scale of the architecture is broken up, reconciling with the domestic scale of the neighborhood.

the three program elements – comprising office, hotel and retail space – correspond to three perfectly identified volumes, one at each end and the third in the middle. the office architecture marks the city entry sequence and it is designed to be seen on a metropolitan scale, at high speed, with a great depth of field.

at night, the volume is reversed and transformed into a beacon of light and color thanks to a network of LEDs that are arranged at the rear of the screen printing on the façade, at 8 cm intervals. this creates a vibrant and dynamic urban screen, which could be made available to digital artists.

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