Located on the 56th floor of the famous Montparnasse Tower, at a 210 meter-hight, restaurant Ciel de Paris was designed by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance and comes with a sweeping view of the the city below. The comfortable and contemporary design invites guests in a setting that is difficult to forget. Dim lighting is spread through the restaurants, from behind the circular mirrors on the ceiling, the edges of the room and from beneath the curved central bar. Here are further captivating details from the architects: “From the bay windows to the central bar, depending on the aura of the mirrors, the skilled composition of the sombre reflections strengthens and transforms perspectives. The view becomes space; space becomes the view. The golden glints of the City of Light bounce off the sensual curves and materials. Paris is sparkling and all of a sudden the tower is more desirable. This primarily touristic venue has become welcoming and ethereal, a pleasurable experience designed for everyone.” Does this look like a place you would like to dine in?
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.
An example of a huge success is Heneghan Peng Architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Using the large difference in level across the site, the architects created two folds in the landscape. Bold, but not conflicting with the rather bleak natural environment, these folds draw all the man-made areas together and create one fitting man-made break in the natural landscape. In the words of the architects themselves, There is no longer a building and a landscape, but building becomes landscape and the landscape itself remains spectacular and iconic