French-Brazilian practice Triptyque Architecture and designer Philippe Starck design Villa M, a hotel building that aims to create a new pact between cities, nature, and health.
TRiptyque Architecture states that Villa M is a naturalistic manifest, a mixed-use complex located in Boulevard Pasteur, in the Parisian borough of Montparnasse.
“We designed Villa M as a naturalist architectural manifesto: that is, a building of a new era, where man is no longer opposed to nature and the living.” – Olivier Raffaëlli and Guillaume Sibaud, Triptyque Architecture.
“Villa M is a bubbling, honest, and warm place, where life is good and beautiful, and where it is good to live and eat well. Throughout the restaurant and the bar, fertile surprises, hidden places, and mental games arouse curiosity and guide the gaze of visitors, reminding them that intelligence is one of the most beautiful symptoms of humanity.” – Philippe Starck, Art Director.
The program, imagined by Thierry Lorente and Amanda Lehmann of Groupe Pasteur Mutualité, is a mixed-use building including a Hotel by Paris Society, a coworking, and a dynamic healthcare-focused center.
“We could not conceive a building dedicated to health and mutualism without including a notion of hospitality, welcome, hotel business. Mutualism implies sharing.” – Thierry Lorente, Villa M Concept Creator and CEO of Group Pasteur Mutualité.
“We are guided by the well-being of caregivers, to best serve these professionals who follow a vocation from the start, but who experience difficulties and suffering.” — Amanda Lehmann, Villa M Concept Creator and Joint General Director of Group Pasteur Mutualité.
Its architecture stands out with its living building, whose geometry is formed by metallic structure beams, conceived to house medicinal herbal plants, fruit trees, and medium to large-sized perennial species.
Designed as an exoskeleton, the building has a minimalist, light look, composed of prefabricated pieces as in a building game.
“The edifice itself is the support for this vertical garden, which will grow and occupy the entire façade, turning the building into a vertical, medicinal forest, and becoming the main architecture,” explains Raffaelli.
In addition to the reintegration of nature into the city through architecture, the living building contributes to sustainability, since it collaborates with thermal comfort and, therefore, with the building’s energetic efficiency.
“We have explored all of the available surfaces to potentialize the greenery and to avoid energy and carbon waste,” explains Gui Sibaud, Triptyque partner and architect-designer of Villa M.
Environmental responsibility is also present in the basic and organic material choices, proposing a low-tech architecture.
Villa M’s design is intended for the architecture to bring nature back to the city, with the main goal to provide citizens with a new urbane experience with the advent of a “nature-city.”
“Breathing, sunbathing, and connecting to nature are vital needs that the urban lifestyle is no longer able to guarantee,” states partner Olivier Rafaëlli.
“To resist the urban expansion – unsustainable by nature – the city must provide this experience in addition to stimulating the correlation between external and internal spaces in built areas.”
The building’s 8,000 m² occupation program also brings an innovative proposal: being a dedicated space for those who chose to help save lives – but open to everyone.
The mixed-use complex holds a hotel, restaurant, bar, conference area, check-up area, a co-working space, and a showroom for start-ups in the world of health to promote mixing, exchanges, and mutual aid between the different specialties and the different generations of health professionals.
The hotel is designed as an enveloping and relaxing cocoon, with breathtaking views of the City of Light.
Its 67 rooms and 6 suites have been designed as green spaces. Some of them have a balcony or terrace to admire the Montparnasse and Invalides districts.
Nestled at the corner of the seventh floor, there is the Pasteur Suite: an exceptional suite with large bay windows, a double green terrace, and a living room open to the capital.
“The traveler must feel at home, in calm, soft, and maternal rooms, pleasant to live in, so that the human being is always at the heart of the Villa M concept, ” adds Philippe Starck.
Project: Villa M
Architects: Triptyque Architecture
Designer: Philippe Starck
Lead Architects: Olivier Raffaëlli and Guillaume Sibaud
Client: Groupe Pasteur Mutualité
Photographers: Michael Denancé, Yann Monel