LILLE – Not far from Lille’s TGV station, the Euravenir Tower is the last piece in the OMA-planned puzzle – the Euralille district – and was put in place by the Parisian outfit LAN. ‘The master plan designed 20 years ago was gradually renewed and adjusted, to accommodate inevitable mutations,’ says Umberto Napolitano, LAN’s founding partner. ‘It was always ready to host and adapt to change, and open to new spatial, functional and formal possibilities, so there were few constraints.’
The small tower stands on a busy intersection and mediates between the smaller scale part of the new district, with medium rise apartments, and the large office complexes that are concentrated along the railway tracks by its gradually stepping volume. ‘Our tower answers a need in terms of size and floor area and creates a new building typology of mid-rise offices for the city,’ Napolitano explains. ‘The contrast of sizes, scales, age and density inspired our response to the context. We decided to design a building that could articulate these components and create a smooth transition and thus avoiding a collage effect.’
This morphology produces a series of changing silhouettes, and despite being dwarfed by some of the office complexes that lie across the railway tracks, the building can rightly be interpreted as an urban marker. Even hough each individual step of the tower has received its own façade treatment, the building is united into a coherent whole by a common formal language and copper cladding. This strategy imbues the otherwise generic office space with a degree of differentiation.