Pierres Vives building, Montpellier, France

The Pierres Vives building of the Department of Herault in Montpellier, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects is due to start on site at the end of this year.
The building is a unique combination of three civic institutions - the archives, the library and the sports department - within a single envelope.

All the public entrances are located on the western side of the building; whilst the service entrances for staff and loading bays are on the eastern side. In this way the tree-trunk analogy is exploited to organise and articulate the complexity of the overall "cite administrative".

Zaha Hadid consistently pushes the boundaries of architecture and urban design. Her work experiments with new spatial concepts ranging widely from urban master planning to products, interiors, and furniture.

She is best known for her seminal built works - the Vitra Fire Station in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany (1993); the Hoenheim Nord Terminus in Strasbourg, France (2001); the Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck, Austria (2002); the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, USA (2003); the BMW Central Building in Leipzig, Germany; the Hotel Puerta America interiors in Madrid, Spain; the Ordrupgaard Museum extension in Copenhagen and the Phaeno Science Centre in Germany (all 2005).

In 2004 Zaha Hadid won the prestigious Pritzker Prize for Architecture

Concept of Pierres Vives

The Pierres Vives building of the department de l’Herault is characterised by the unification of three institutions – the archive, the library and the sports department – within a single envelope. These various parts of this ‘cite administrative’ combine into a strong figure visible far into the landscape. As one moves closer, the division into three parts becomes apparent. The building has been developed on the basis of a rigorous pursuit of functional and economic logic. However, the resultant figure is reminiscent of a large tree-trunk, laid horizontal.

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. On the western side all the public entrances are located, with the main entrance under an enormous cantilevering canopy; while on the eastern side all the service entrances, i.e. staff entrances and loading bays are located. (http://www.zaha-hadid.com)

Photo Gallery of Pierres Vives


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