24 May 2016 / Architecture & Design

Jean Nouvel's vertical landscape tower

Jean Nouvel's vertical landscape tower has revolutionised the skyline of the city of Nicosia in Cyprus. “White Walls”- the famous architect's new construction is a triumph of light and colour...

The award-winning architect, Jean Nouvel, has always made clear and distinctive statements about the social and cultural value of architecture and the city. A perfect example of his innovative and at times, controversial behaviour, is his first famous project: the Maison Dick in Saint-André-les-Vergers (Aube, the Champagne-Ardenne region, 1976), that he has defined as «critical architecture».

His reputation was established in 1981, when he won the competition for the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, which was part of François Mitterand's "Grands projets".
With this building, European architecture crossed a new horizon.

Nouvel sees his architecture as visual art or a "producer of images" - something that is dematerialised to such an extent that its surfaces and the way light travels through or across them are more important than the architecture itself.

The67-metre high "vertical landscape" built by the Jean Nouvel Atelier stands in the centre of Nicosia in Cyprus and completely redesigns the city's skyline. The impressive verticality of “White Walls” interacts perfectly with the horizontality of the medieval walls and moat that surround the old town. There are 10 residential floors, 6 office floors and 2 retail unit floors.
The building is crowned by two floors in which a duplex apartment - inspired by traditional Cypriot architecture - encircles the central courtyard. 

The south facade of the Nouvel tower is a natural "brise soleil".
The project is deliberately designed so that the plants on the various floors protect the building from the sun during the summer and welcome in the light during the winter.
In other words, Nouvel has created a “natural solar control system” that is both exceptional and alive. The trees and bushes selected - Cypriot climbing plants - change with the seasons to create a constantly evolving landscape. A line of century-old olive trees has also been planted along the perimeter of the tower to connect it to the city park. 

«A great apartment - argues Nouvel - is a large apartment; an apartment with a twin facade that is always better than one only, and in bathrooms, natural light is always preferable.» This is why he has designed cascading terraces and balconies that offer new space and light to both residential and office spaces.

The tower's white shell is also remarkable and features a pattern of pixel-like openings that allow light to penetrate the interiors and reveal the splendid greenery inside these “White Walls”.

With this new construction, Nouvel has succeeded in surprising us once again. His capacity to interpret the spirit of the time and anticipate contemporary trends - an attitude shared by Leonardo EvolutionsTile - is perhaps due to his intelligent and creative use of technology and his lucid observation of the urban landscape.

In its product designing and development process, Leonardo EvolutionsTile aspires to another of Nouvel's acute insights that states «technology allows us to hide our technicalities...».

«This is the aesthetic of a miracle.»

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