Balconies fan out like leaves from the mixed-use L'Arbre Blanc tower, which Sou Fujimoto has completed in Montpellier, France with Nicolas Laisné, Dimitri Roussel and OXO Architectes.
Called ‘L’Arbre Blanc’, a name that translates as ‘the white tree’, the tower’s balconies and terraces appear as branches allowing residents to maximize time spent outdoors. Each apartment has an external space that measures at least seven square meters (75 square feet), while residents of the tower’s duplex apartments can move from one balcony to another. Meanwhile, the cantilevered terraces have been conceived as spacious outdoor living rooms that take advantage of montpellier’s mediterranean climate.
"These exceptional outside spaces are fully-fledged living rooms which are connected to the dwellings in such a way as to allow residents to live inside and outside," said the studios.
However, the protrusions also help from a sustainability standpoint. The generously proportioned balconies and terraces serve as a protective veil that shields the façade from the region’s hot sun. They also provide shade for other residents and promote better air circulation.
On the ground floor of L'Arbre Blanc, there is a public art gallery lined with glass walls that opens out to a newly extended park along the Lez River. Meanwhile, at the top of the tower a rooftop bar with a panoramic garden allows the public to enjoy views of the city, alongside a more private common area for residents.