- Architects: Hamonic+Masson & Associés
- Location: 22 Mail Pablo Picasso, 22, Mail Pablo Picasso, 44000 Nantes, France
- Lead Architects: Gaëlle Hamonic, Jean-Christophe Masson, Marie-Agnès de Bailliencourt, Arnaud Grenié (project manager)
- Area: 10350.0 m2
- Project Year: 2017
- Photographs: Takuji Shimmura
- Developer: Kaufman&Broad
- Urban Planner: Atelier Ruelle
- Structural Engineer: BETAP
- Mep Engineer: ALBDO
- Site Management: Polytec
From the architect. A unique building in a strategic location. Composed of curved angles and surrounded by undulating balconies, New’R pays homage to Oscar Niemeyer as well as to the architecture of the 1970s French Riviera, (André Minangoy and Michel Marot’s “Marina Baie des Anges”, for example) and finally the hedonistic fantasy of Miami Beach! Sensual and multi-directional, the building is located at a pivotal point between the ‘Mail Picasso’ and the new neighbourhood currently being developed alongside the rail infrastructure. Framing and capturing the existing location, New’R embraces the site and forms a new landscape.
The building’s volume compliments the surrounding scales through its sculpted effect. The construction of intermediate landings creates a sequence within the volume and the piston-like morphology facilitates a graduated system of high-rise living. Its strategic position and impact on the site offer a range of interpretations depending on one’s proximity to the building, evoking multiple responses and sensations. A building connected to the ground. The question of public space and its extension through the project was a prerequisite and is a condition that will not only invite different activities and interactions, but also establish a strong link between the shared, public space of the road and the building. The city’s flow of pedestrians, cars and bicycles and the mixed programme (parking, retail, office space and housing) interweave and embellish the ground floor, creating a “pedestrian level volume.” The building’s transparency, depth and various perspectives engender a dynamism and liveliness around the perimeter of the project, consequently enriching the surrounding environment.
Above all, this is a residential project. The life and richness of a city are its inhabitants. We have provided diversity within the collective by creating multiple exterior spaces and apartments with a range of typologies. There are forty differing typologies for 156 apartments, meaning the repetition inherently found in housing projects is offset by the tower’s uniqueness, which seeks to provide a sense of belonging and identity. Plant containers are built into the balcony railings and a vegetable garden and a greenhouse are integrated into the 10th floor terrace. The organisation ‘Bio-T- full’ provide around thirty workshops offering residents the opportunity to participate in group activities and the planting and growing of crops. Furthermore, a vast solarium on the sixteenth floor allows residents to organise birthday parties, soirées and other events.
Finally, this building is a manifesto. Architecture is not a question of systems or profitability, but rather beauty and pleasure. We must rediscover the freedom to experiment with style, materials and typology. Aesthetic values, meaning those which relate to art and beauty, must be reconsidered in order to create ethical, modern and democratic projects.