Winter 2019

LUXLIFE MAGAZINE | 63 Winter 2019 Expertly blending experimental design, strategic analysis, social responsibility and diverse functionality, OXO have quickly established themselves as a cornerstone of new, avant-garde French architecture. Spearheaded by founder Manal Rachdi, the company has gone on to collaborate with a number of high-profile architects from across the globe including Japanese firm Sou Fujimoto. Located in Montreuil, an eastern suburb of Paris, the freshman French firm has wasted no time in quickly establishing itself as a leading designer in the architecture industry of the twenty-first century. Famous for the avant-garde style implemented in much of its work, it is not hard to distinguish OXO’s influence from other architectural endeavours. OXO’s team of architects and designers have worked together on a multitude of projects across France to expertly bring to life experimental combinations of form, style and texture in an ever-changing urban environment. Their website offers a glimpse into their international creativity too, with projects designed, planned or completed in Los Angeles, Belgium, Italy, Alaska, and Morocco. Completed in 2019, one such example of OXO’s avant-garde style coupled with international collaboration is “l’arbre blanc”, built in Montpellier. Situated strategically between Montpellier’s city centre and the developed area of Port Marianne, l’arbre blanc is midway between the city’s old and new districts, drawing the two together. A clear display of the mixing styles offered by the French design firm OXO in collaboration with Japanese firm Sou Fujimoto, l’arbre blanc is a 10,000-square-meter tower designed to give the appearance of a white tree spreading upwards organically from the ground. Given the appearance of a tree, balconies stretch outwards from the central tower like branches, sheltering nearby properties and adding to the avant-garde style of the structure. The 17-floor mixed-use, white tower accommodates residential units, an office space, a ground floor art gallery and restaurant, and a penthouse bar offering panoramic views of the ocean and neighbouring mountain range. Combining Mediterranean and Japanese styles, l’arbre blanc was described as a “cross-cultural endeavour”, resulting in the latest addition to Montpellier’s evolving urban landscape. However, not just an urban development design firm, OXO also work with the environment at the centre of their work. Located near the river Meuse in the county of Champagne is the Jean Moulin High School, recently designed by this French architectural firm, again in collaboration with other firms. Jean Moulin is an outstanding example of innovative architecture that is mindful of the environment, submerged into the forest instead of dominating the landscape. Turning the steep incline of the hill from a problem into the feature’s most defining aspect is just one of the techniques that helps to make OXO one of the most innovative architectural design firms today. Ultimately, this avant-garde French design firm has quickly established itself as an international collaborator on key urban development projects. Despite OXO still being in its infancy as a design firm, it has already cultivated a reputation as a leader in the French architectural industry. Specialising in avant-garde styles of form, shape and texture across urban landscapes, this freshman French firm has a very bright future ahead of it. Company: OXO Architectes Contact: Céline Massuard Website: