12 february 2016
Manal Rachid, architecture and nature by passion
Winner of the call for projects “Reinventing Paris,” the young architect Manal Rachdi manages to combine his two passions: contemporary architecture and nature. Which are found both in this wonderful project called “A Thousand Trees” and in most of his international creations.
As far as he can remember, Manal Rachdi dreamed of one day living in a forest, with just a library and a few walls.
Fascinated by nature since his childhood – long family walks in the forests around Rabat, Morocco – and drawing, which allowed him to escape from a stifling schooling, in architecture he has found the way to reconcile his two loves. All of his projects include large nature swathes – terraces, interior forests, green walls – to (re) introduce some landscape in the cities. Latest success, the Thousand trees project, chosen by the city of Paris as part of the call for projects “Reinventing Paris.” This bridge building, linking Porte Maillot to Neuilly, will give a new sense to this somewhat forgotten neighborhood of the capital . Combining residential homes, shops, offices, a hotel and restaurant, the building in the shape of an inverted pyramid will also house an authentic underwood. A magical world that will make the place a unique ecosystem.
“I am part of a dematerialized and connected generation explains Manal Rachdi in the preamble. With the democratization of travel, the ubiquity of the Internet and the technological changes that resulted, virtuality reached us and we can be everywhere at once. ” .
No question of cuting off from our roots of this nature that has been chased from cities and buildings for a long time. From his first projects, Manal Rachdi imposed this approach whatsoever included in its redevelopment of a series of viaducts in Calabria. In response to an international competition, he thus imagined using the structure of bridges to do reversed towers: bridge decks greet public spaces and green areas while the housing hang along the pillars. Unfortunately this project is on stand by for now.
Another project in progress that one, “The white tree”,
a tower of 110 homes on the Lez river, Montpellier. Considering that Montpellier inhabitants spend a lot of time outdoors, to enjoy favorable weather, to share moments of conviviality with family and friends, Manal Rachdi imagined a tower where each apartment has generous terraces, some of the same area as housing. “Despite its name, the White Tree is not an ivory tower. Curved as a natural form that water or wind could have dug, shaped, it extends like a pair of wings to match the line drawn by the river. “As for the terraces, they offer a privileged view of the city and the Lez, even to communicate with each other for more sharing.
“For us, ecology is obvious, necessary and the reflection that we carry on the sustainability of our buildings must be pragmatic” says Manal Rachdi.
Although he does not mention it every time, all of his projects are eco-designed: internal and external finishings made of durable and eco-friendly materials, choice of buildings orientation to optimize the supply of solar energy, green roofs to improve the conservation of rainwater and contribute to energy efficiency by reducing its loss …
“We see buildings as complex networks of systems operating at multiple scales over time, explains Manal Rachdi. Our architecture is exploring ways to cleverly interweave these systems to make the most efficient buildings, while managing a part of a sensibility to architecture. But there is still a lot to develop and understand to perfect the system. ”