French Tower Design as Revolutionary as it is Ugly

Aquatic architecture. It’s a concept that automatically calls to mind visions of elaborate architectural marvels. What does it make you think of? Floating houses? Skyscrapers that descend into the ocean? Clear glass walls that give inhabitants a view of the ocean depths?

The very fact that aquatic architecture operates in this completely new medium allows architects to design new and revolutionary structures that toy with commonly held perceptions of architecture.

Tower City in Marseilles

Image: Inhabitat

So I can’t quite figure out what persuaded Deric Fourie, Dan Berons, Michael Menuet, and Pablo del Amo to come up with their new Tower City design for the eVolo competition.

I mean, I understand the basic idea of it. They’ve created tall stilt-like structure that jut out of the water surrounding the French city of Marseilles. It makes sense, in a way, because the objective is to make the most use of the aquatic real estate while maintaining its structural integrity. I’m sure that the view from one of the enormous stilts would be quite impressive, but a view of Tower City leaves much to be desired.

Tower City in Marseilles

Image: Inhabitat

When I look at these pictures, it immediately calls to mind the bottom half of a bridge or maybe the concrete columns that support an interstate clover. If you could just drape an enormous road over the length of it, then it really wouldn’t look out of place.

I find it somewhat hard to believe that a city from France, a country traditionally obsessed with art and beauty, would buy into this design. I hate to be indelicate, but the whole just looks, well, ugly.

Still, I can commend the designers for their philosophy. Building Tower City in the middle of a river can help save land, and using recycled building materials to craft the massive towers is quite commendable. Tower City is quite green, it’s just a tad unattractive, a bit like the color of snot green.


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