Lifestyle

Manal Rachdi : an architect who incorporates nature into urban life

Manal Rachdi : an architect who incorporates nature into urban life

At a time when environmentally friendly design has become a key component of any new urban development project, Manal Rachdi has decided to blend architecture with the natural world.

In architecture and any other economic sector, not a single major project can get off the ground without first accounting for sustainability and environmental protection. This building, which is part of the Grand Paris project, is no exception. In order to gain more popularity in cities, the apartment blocks designed by « green builders » must now offer an approach that saves energy and incorporates the environment.

Manal Rachdi brings nature into cities

Such an approach is a no-brainer for Manal Rachdi, the director of the agency OXO Architectes. In order to escape his stifling life as a student, Rachdi would always daydream about living in a forest with a library and a handful of walls. In an effort to create a balanced dialogue between his craft and nature, the architect has now combined his dream and reality by incorporating a taste of the countryside into his urban projects.

Manal Rachdi Arbre Blanc building
See if you can count all the balconies on the Arbre Blanc building. Each one offers a view of the city. © DR
Manal Rachdi Foujimoto project
Like a cruise ship set atop the pavement, this urban island offers a new perspective in the Porte Maillot district in Paris. © DR

A living space that is connected to our roots

Featuring terraces, indoor forests, green walls, hanging gardens, and rooftop decks that are open to everyone, these buildings, which refuse to be walled off by concrete and instead become one with the landscape, offer residents a new way to live. According to this school of thought, being a part of a digital and connected generation does not mean cutting yourself off from your roots. This environmentally friendly approach is equal parts glamorous and appealing.

Manal Rachdi Ecotone building Antibes
The Ecotone project in Antibes features vast amounts of greenery and very little actual construction. © DR

Architects have abandoned their ivory towers for the balcony