Sunday, 1 August 2010

Casting a Shadow

On a sunny day, two tower blocks cast two long shadows. Near neighbours on the edge of the 13th arrondissement these two structures give additional relief to a chaotic skyline.

The first is the Tour Super Italie. Designed by the architect Maurice Novarina, this almost entirely residential tower was opened in 1974. Although at 112m it is roughly a third of the height of the Eiffel Tower, its 44,000 tonne weight is four and a half times heavier! For quite obvious reasons, its nickname in the area is the 'tour ronde'. UPDATE - there is a swimming pool and sun terrace on the top floor of this building! See the Comments for more information.

Slightly to the south on the Boulevard Kellermann is the Tour Chambord. It was the work of three architects - Gérald Brown-Sarda, Michel Holley and Daniel Mikol - and was opened a year later, in 1975. The shadow here is slightly shorter, with its 34 floors covering 96 metres. The uninterupted balconies of the residents give views over several parks and gardens, incluidng the Parc Kellermann and the Jardin du Moulin-de-la-Pointe.

Angles and shadows, curves and contrasts. Perfect for photographers, especially on blue sky days, but perhaps not so agreeable for the neighbours who live in the shadows.


House Hunting in Paris said...

Do you know anything about the amenities in these buildings? We were called about an apartment in the Antoine and Cléopâtre highrise awhile back and I was really impressed to learn that it had not one but TWO pools! said...

There's something about sky-scrapers in Paris that kind of ruin the skyline for me. I'm not crazy about the Montparnasse Tower either. The Eiffel Tower of course is an exception :)


Adam said...

HHiP: That's an interesting question. The Tour Chambord is a quite classical 70s block, with concrete features and a tended garden at ground level, but I don't think it has any particular amenities.

I'm glad you asked the question though, because I checked for the Super Italie tower and I have now discovered that there is a swimming pool....on the top floor!

Adam said...

John: The skyline in this part of Paris would be difficult to ruin. And personally I'm glad to think that somewhere there is a swimming pool 100m above Paris!

Adam said...

Impossible to find photos of the swimming pool (or view from the swimming pool), but here is the artist's impression from the original designs in 1971.

House Hunting in Paris said...

A swimming pool on the roof is my dream and the only thing that would make me consider living in a modern building in Paris. I wonder how many buildings (or private residences) in Paris have that. Thanks for the "artist rendering." Relatedly, do you know what's become of the Samaritaine? I've asked around at a few realtors but no one really knows when the condos will be ready, what sizes, how much, etc.

Adam said...

HHiP: You can find some information on the Samartaine here, notably a 160 page PDF document about the project!

The rough schedule seems to be the following - "une réunion publique
de présentation de l'esquisse architecturale du projet (4ème trimestre 2010), une enquête publique sur le projet et son impact (4ème trimestre 2010), le début du chantier de la nouvelle Samaritaine (2ème trimestre 2011) et l'ouverture au public fin 2013"

Also, the housing on site will apparently be entirely 'social'.

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