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Concave and convex shape of the exterior wall of ‘La Folie Divine’  provides a variety of experiences throughout each unit.
Concave and convex shape of the exterior wall of ‘La Folie Divine’  provides a variety of experiences throughout each unit.

Farshid Moussavi’s Architecture Among ArchDaily Awards Finalists

Folie Divine is designed as a nine storey tower in Montpellier, France, accommodating thirty-six apartments, a small restaurant on the ground floor and a garden around the building

Farshid Moussavi’s Architecture Among ArchDaily Awards Finalists

ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website, annually announces a list of the best architectural projects in 15 categories, including housing and commercial as well as healthcare, educational, sports, and cultural architecture. ArchDaily will announce winners of each category on February 7 voted by its registered users.
Among the finalists of the 2018 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards is an architectural project by Farshid Moussavi, internationally acclaimed Iranian-British architect and professor in practice of architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Honaronline reported.
‘La Folie Divine’ is the name of Moussavi’s design, a nine-storey tower made of layers of non-coincident curvaceous layers, which is in Montpellier, France.
According to the website of Harvard University Graduate School of Design (Gsd.harvard.edu), La Folie Divine is the first of the twelve follies to be built on brownfield sites in the city of Montpellier.
In French and English gardens, the idea of folie has a longer history in which a playful structure with no practical purpose would be placed within a garden or landscape to elicit pleasure, luxury and wealth. As an idea, the folie is beyond practicality.
Folie Divine is designed as a nine storey (34m) tower accommodating thirty-six apartments and a small restaurant on the ground floor. The building’s small footprint minimizes use of the existing site and liberates ground for a garden around the building.
The apartments are distributed along the section of the tower on one of two typical floor plates that have different curvilinear shapes. The shape of each floor is designed in such a way that the balconies of each unit are hidden from views of those of neighboring units without the introduction of balcony dividing walls. 
Each of the two typical floor plates is divided into four corner residential units, located around a central core, which are dual aspect and benefit from multiple views of the exterior and natural cross ventilation. This arrangement provides the units with the least possible internal shared circulation space when compared to a residential slab or block, and therefore the maximum amount of privacy.
The concave and convex shape of the exterior wall provides a variety of experiences throughout each unit, as the geometry of the interior continually changes from room to room and even within the larger rooms.  The irregular curvilinear shape of the building has the extra advantage of selfshading parts of the exterior envelope against the strong Montpellier summer sun–whereas the curvature on the north side is more gradual, it is intentionally more acute on the southern exposure. Moussavi, 52, is an internationally acclaimed architect. She has designed the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland (2012) and the Victoria Beckham Flagship Store in London (2014) among many others.

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