Version Rubis, Montpellier

An apartment building that plays with perception thanks to its facades

Version Rubis is an apartment building (81 housing units) located in the north-west part of the Port-Marianna area in Montpellier.  The entire area has been designed in order to slow down the development of the city northward so as to benefit the southside, closer to the shore. Since the creation of the new city hall by Jean Nouvel, Port-Marianne is destined to become Montpellier’s new city center. The creation of a canal starting in the Lez river connects the area to the sea.

Inspiration for this project came from the work of Montpellier-based city planner Raymond Dugrand. Dugrand claims public spaces should shape the development of the city, leaving the buildings to adapt to that shape.

Inspired by the « Folies de Jardin » dating back to the 18th century, Rubis interacts with the 8 ha Georges-Charpak park. Its core is clad in fibreglass that doubles as a thermal insulation.

The lacquered and perforated aluminium panels and shutters present four shades of red. The perception of the facade and its volume is constantly changing as the shutters slide open. The loggias serve as gateways between private and public, inside and outside. On the rooftop rises a white Mediterranean villa of which the planted terrace seems to converse with the nearby park


VIGUIER architecture urbanisme paysage

Execution contractor
Drop Ingénierie

Engineering firm (structure)
Andre Verdier

Engineering firm (fluids)
ENR Concept

Engineering firm (acoustics)

BBC Effinergie

Pyramide d’Or 2012

Leading architects
Mehdi Jaoua
Octave Parant

Project team
Michel Sebald
Katharina Kriener
Clémence De Dreuz
Natacha Soumagnac
Nora Sieffert
Nathalie François
Catherine Kirk

Landscape team
Benjamin Doré
Lionel Sikora