Berlin-based architectural firm Studio Other Spaces has completed its latest project above the rooftops of Paris, France. Dubbed The Seeing City, this installation occupies the top two floors of Préfecture de Paris on Boulevard Morland, offering visitors an immersive architectural experience amid the skyline of Paris.
The Seeing City is part of the larger Morland Mixité Capitale Project, which is envisioned as a reinvigorated cosmopolitan hub, and boasts a one-of-a-kind experience with optical illusions, mirrored paneling, and a kaleidoscopic rooftop that disappears into the sky.
Located on floors 15 and 16, the installation hosts a bar and restaurant featuring dramatic mirrored ceilings that reflect the Parisian streets below into the open-air terrace and interior spaces.
“The two levels are transformed into an immersive optical apparatus that transports Parisian street life to the rooftop and its interior spaces, while reflecting the activity in those spaces back down to the city below,” said Studio Other Spaces. “As visitors move through the 15th floor, its mirror ceiling, which extends from the exterior into the interior, appears to dematerialize the space. The streets of Paris float above them as an inverted city in motion.”
Moving up to the rooftop on floor 16, visitors find themselves mesmerized by a glass ceiling filled with rows of kaleidoscope boxes. Each box is made up of four glass mirror panels and a transparent glass dome, and is open at the bottom. The design creates an impressive optical illusion and a seamless transition between the structure and the sky, which gives visitors the feeling of the being drawn into the upper atmosphere.
“The overall fade effect of the artwork smoothly blends the panoramic view of the city with the kaleidoscopic sky extended by the mirrors,” explained the studio.
The constantly changing experience and visual impact is dependent on the movement of the streets below, the weather, the time of day, and natural light. Both of the building’s uppermost floors feature large floor-to-ceiling glass panels, which flawlessly merge the interior spaces with the outdoors, while also immersing the guests in the architectural installation of the space itself.
“The Seeing City speaks from its immaterial qualities, which are inspired by the desire to optically interpret the existing building rather than replacing the original structure with something entirely new,” said Studio Other Spaces. “The intention is to connect people to the everyday context that they inhabit in a way that is surprising and dynamic, whether they are floating above or looking up from the boulevard.”
Source: Studio Other Spaces