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Bearing in mind a skyscraper has never been built in Toulouse since it was first founded in the second century BC, the design for its first had to be something pretty extraordinary. It’s no surprise then that world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, whose projects include the One World Trade Center in New York, was chosen to design the striking Occitanie Tower in the historic city, which is due to be completed in 2022.
Spiralling 500 ft into the air, this eco-friendly design will soon dwarf all other buildings in France’s fourth-largest city. Libeskind has created a unique twisting ‘ribbon’ of greenery in collaboration with Paris-based landscape architect Nicolas Gilsoul to allow for abundant plant life. The design was inspired by the tree-lined waterway of the adjacent canal.
‘With its suspended gardens that change colour during the seasons, the slight silvertine of the glazing of the façade will reflect the pink tones of Toulouse and the brightness of this material will change perception of the space, according to the variation of light,’ Libeskind explained in a statement. ‘The tower becomes a unique object in a vast urban space – it will not only become a destination, but also a defining public space.’
The 40-storey Occitanie Tower, which is situated on the site of the former postal sorting centre at Gare Matabiau, will include a generous 11,000 m² of office space, 120 residential apartments, a hotel and a restaurant that enjoys panoramic views across the city, plus plenty of retail space for shops. The aim is to help turn the evolving business district into a key economy driver for Toulouse, as well as to provide a striking landmark.
Studio Libeskind is also working with local architect Francis Cardete on the project, who has previously worked on the Euro 2016 Toulouse stadium and Toulouse-Blagnac airport among others. The planned completion date for this project is 2022, with building works commencing in 2018.