Montpellier’s City Hall (Hôtel de Ville) opened its doors on 14 November 2011. At the helm was Jean Nouvel, a Pritzker Prize winner (equivalent to a Nobel in architecture), accompanied by native son François Fontès.
Together, they designed the new City Hall as both a sustainable building and an architectural exploit. More than just a building, it is a real piece of urban artwork, constructed on the banks of the Lez and conceived to be the emblem of a port city, as Jacques Coeur had imagined it as early as 1440, not to mention Mayor Pagézy in the late 19th century.
While the blue-tinted silhouette of City Hall is now a part of Montpellier’s identity, the other side is just as attractive and symbolizes the spirit which guided the design of the Port Marianne mixed development zone: contemporary architecture in a green setting, conducive to walks and relaxation.
So on the one side, the façade of City Hall and its vast forecourt promote its grandiose, monumental aspects, while the other showcases Mediterranean vegetation and the charm of buildings on stilts.