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France, known for its rich architectural heritage, is witnessing an exciting wave of contemporary trends that champion innovation that opens doors to a brighter, greener, friendlier future. Current architects are looking to breathe life into neighborhoods, apply the principles of adaptive reuse and upcycle as many materials as possible to reduce waste creation and energy consumption. These trends come alive in one singular project.
Studio Malka Architecture has unveiled its 'Modular Follies' in Montpellier, Southern France, with a vision to rejuvenate the neighborhood. The Modular Follies project uses a historic nineteenth-century building as its foundation. Studio Malka Architecture not only preserves this building but also reinforces its structure. This approach harmoniously blends the old with the new, maintaining the city's architectural fabric. The result is an eight-story vertical village offering co-living options, communal spaces, libraries, kitchens, restaurants, cafes, a hotel, cultural centers, exhibition spaces, hanging gardens, and open-air leisure zones – all available as their own self-sufficient modules.
The construction of Modular Follies embraces prefabrication techniques. Entire modules, whether individual or shared housing capsules, are manufactured in local workshops, which reduces both production time and lowers green gas emissions from long-distance transportation. What you get is a disturbance-free construction process that’s clean and flexible. Since we’re not talking about a single structure, but modules, the project can be easily expanded in the future.
Sustainability is at the core of this architectural endeavor. All materials, with the metallic facade, are sourced through upcycling, refurbishing and refinishing. This commitment to environmentally friendly practices performs two functions – 1) it stands as a testament to preserving heritage while embracing contemporary design, and 2) helps the French government reach their zero net emission goals that are encroaching soon.
As France continues to evolve, these trends in revitalization, adaptive reuse, prefabrication and upcycling serve as a blueprint for the future of architectural innovation in the country.