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Testimonio tower
An inhabited tree
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Testimonio tower

Principauté de Monaco , Monaco

2010

Program

High environmental quality tower (business centre, State and privately owned accommodation, emergency centre, international school, shops, crèche)

Surface

55,000 sqm

Cost of the work

Unknown

Contracting authority

Département de la Prospective de l'Urbanisme et de la Mobilité

Architect

AAAB

Associate architect

Alain-Charles Perrot

An inhabited tree

Located at the eastern entrance to the Principality, this mixed use skyscraper project lays claim to being a vertical urban landscape as well as a landmark. Its steep site will symbolically create a link between the city’s upper and lower districts as well as between water, earth, rock, plant life and those living there. While reaching up towards the sky, the architecture is also deeply rooted into the rocky
ground, much like an “inhabited tree”, drawing its energy from below in the same way as the banyan trees breaking through the stones of the abandoned temples of Angkor.
The first four office levels reached along Avenue de la Princesse-Grace at the base of the building form a rocky pedestal supporting the wooden façades, while the garden covering the base and the car park onto which it gives face the fire station located on the other side of Boulevard du Larvotto. A school rises up a further four levels to find itself on the same height as Boulevard d’Italie. The skyscraper’s various halls are also connected: that for the crèche on the 1st floor, that for the 48 State-owned apartments distributed over the following six floor levels and those for the luxury apartments – with openings on at least two façades – located on the upper 34 levels and which incorporates a technical level (8th floor), and a duplex rooftop villa. Thanks to the offset stacking of the floor slabs (in fibrous concrete) with their various organic shapes, all apartments have attractive balconies and/or terraces providing uninterrupted
views, and include protection from the support slab above. A fascinating protective carbon and ETFE* grid partially shades them from the sun much in the same way as the luxuriant nature reaching up from the base of the skyscraper. With its green façades and planted terraces,
the skyscraper’s surrounds form a giant belvedere rockery overlooking the bay and which Monaco residents will be free to use to transfer from one artery to another. Senior citizens will also be provided with this freedom of movement thanks to the landscaped incorporation of escalators and lifts.
This perfectly earthquake-proof design, this half fossilised inhabited arborescence or stalagmitic habitat partially colonised by plants and trees, incorporates into the landscape through a powerful architectural gesture that
projects the Principality into the modern world while placing emphasis on the site itself. The eco-responsibility it advocates fully integrates the concept of a programmatic and social mix.

Testimonio tower

Avenue Princesse Grace, boulevard Larvotto,
98000 Principauté de Monaco
Monaco