Pierresvives serves as an architectural bridge between the center of Montpellier and the outyling community of La Paillade, with its 25,000 residents, many of whom live in public housing. Some 900 new apartments are being constructed around Hadid’s concrete-and-glass structure.
On the north face of the building, the projecting volume of the médiatheque cantilevers over the main entrance. The paving pattern echoes the geometry of the façade.
On the south face of Pierresvives, concrete volumes project at different depths from the building’s flank. Each volume, including a loading dock, is separated by a ribbon of aluminum brise-soleil.
On the ground floor, visitors enter under the cantilevered form of the médiatheque and use escalators to access the upper levels. Floor detailing echoes the lines of the louvers and the lights above.
On the second level of Pierresvives, a triple-height lobby features a curving roof incised with cove lighting.
Throughout Pierresvives, carefully curated sightlines and transparency between interior spaces were used to help connect various elements of the program, as in this breakout space overlooking the lobby.
The multimedia library is filled with low stacks that allow views out through the aluminum louver–covered windows.