The distinctive visual feature of the Dora Mar project is the golden shell enclosing a mixed-use residential and office building and the cornerstone of an 800-apartment neighborhood in the heart of Montpellier.
The Dora Mar project marks the southern entrance to the Port Marianne-Parc Marianne urban development zone along Avenue de Raymond-Dugrand at Montpellier. Bordering the Pablo Picasso circular plaza, the building, named Dora Maar, in memory of the cubist painter's muse, is the foundation stone of an 800-unit residential project that includes access to nearby school facilities and to the adjoining residential district.
Standing on the edge of an 8-hectare wooded park and in the immediate vicinity of the City Hall, the project is a distinctive and vibrant hub in the district's urban fabric, with its 99 apartments, office spaces and shopping areas. It consists of three masses accommodating a mix of housing units and offices, and reinforcing the district's urban dimension by the shopping center at its base.
The building complex integrates seamlessly into its urban context and enhances its dynamism. At its heart, the apartments are surrounded by large terraces, providing residents with genuine outdoor living space, protected from the sun's rays and prying eyes. The project intentionally exposes its programmatic dual purpose – public and private, through the treatment of the façades. The surfaces in alignment with the various public spaces and the housing tower are protected by a screen wall of variable thickness, according to the incident direct sunlight or lines of sight on the environment. Sensitive to its environmental and urban integration, the project alternates between a smooth, continuous cladding and a succession of distinctive masses, reflecting the compactness of the surrounding city. Unique and monochrome, the gold-colored façade plays with the shifting sunlight and the volumes, offering passers-by a constantly renewed image and conferring a strong presence to the entire structure. The building achieves major urban objectives, such as provision of public utilities, while the shopping center at the base and the tower have become a landmark and foundation stone for the construction of a vibrant neighborhood with a high quality of life.