Jean Nouvel's Cyprus tower has plants bursting through its walls

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French studio Ateliers Jean Nouvel has built a tower block in Nicosia, Cyprus, featuring perforated walls and wide balconies that are both bestrewn with plants (+ slideshow).

Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel

Completed last year next to Eleftheria Square, the 67-metre-high Tower 25 is one of the tallest structures in the Cypriot capital, and includes a mix of apartments, offices and shops.

Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel

To suit Cyprus' Mediterranean climate, Ateliers Jean Nouvel designed the building around what it describes as a "natural brise soleil" – a facade where numerous openings are infilled with plants.

Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel

On the south-facing facade, which will receive the most sunlight, the firm has created a series of balconies that span the width of the building. Bursting with plants, these areas serve both the offices and the apartments.



The white walls on the east and west sides of the building are perforated with square openings, creating geometric patterns that are filled with even more plants.

Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel

"A natural brise soleil, reaching the height of its vegetation during the summer months, protects the apartments from the intense heat of the day, and sheds most of its foliage during the winter months, allowing the sun to reach as much as possible of the interior," explained Nice Day, the developer behind the project.

Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel

By contrast, the north facade is kept simple with a series of curved balconies, but no plants.

Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel

"Τhe graphic surfaces of the east, west and south facades give way to a dynamic three-dimensional elevation on the north," said the developer.

"One gets the sense that the building is expanding and contracting as the balconies slide in and out changing their width and depth."

Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel

Tower 25, also known as The White Walls, contains 18 storeys above ground, plus three sunken car park levels.

Shops occupy the two lower levels, beneath six office floors. Apartments fill the top 10 storeys, including a penthouse apartment and courtyard that takes up two whole floors.

Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel

Apartments and office both feature open-air living spaces, intended to offer respite during the hottest parts of the day. The cascading terraces and north-facing balconies are also designed to serve the same function.

Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel founded his eponymous studio in 1994, and has completed projects including the Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom hotel in Austria and the Les Bains des Docks aquatics centre in France.

The architect has focused on plants for a number of recent high-rise projects, ranging from a Barcelona hotel with windows shaped like palm fronds and a pair of plant-covered Sydney towers that reflect light using mirrors.

Photograph by Yiorgis Yerolymbos courtesy of Nice Day Developments.


Project team:

Architectural team: Jean Nouvel – Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Local collaborating architects: Takis Sophocleous Architects (Anastasia Koumoulidou and Demetris Sophocleous)
Project leaders: Elisabeth Kather (studies and construction), Philippe Papy (concept design)
Architects: Sony Devabhaktun, Nobuo Yoshida, José Miguel Pomares
Structure: KAL Engineering
Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire: Mitsides Samouhl and Partners
Quantity surveyor: Nicolau & Konndides

Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel
Site plan – click for larger image
Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel
Typical car park level plan – click for larger image
Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel
Retail mezzanine plan – click for larger image
Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel
Typical office floor plan – click for larger image
Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel
Typical housing floor plan – click for larger image
Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel
Penthouse level one plan – click for larger image
Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel
Penthouse level two plan – click for larger image
Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel
Cross section – click for larger image
Tower 25 by Jean Nouvel
Long section – click for larger image
  • Felix Amiss

    Surely it is now possible to move beyond mediocre patterns on facades, with the aid of computation? Green facades are completely valid, but you would never find such repetitive patterns in nature. I don’t understand how the developer finds this ‘dynamic.’

  • AmmaarahF

    It feels like all the greenery has just been hidden by a wall of white. Green façades are a brilliant idea, but the execution of this is just so… rigid?