Piercing the skyline and sprouting branch-like balconies, an apartment block resembling a giant tree is set to come to life in Montpellier, France. Aptly called The White Tree (L’Arbre Blanc), at 17-storeys, the high-rise building embodies the capabilities of 21 century architecture. As its name suggests, the building's unusual shape takes inspiration from the tree form, with endless stair-step balconies protruding off the building's trunk-like core in the same way branches do on trees.
Appearing to grow out of the ground, the plans for the structure draw further comparisons to a tree. In addition to the balconies jutting off in different directions like branches, these will be complimented by functional decks that provide shade for adjoining units, thus creating a tree-like set of stairs that encase the building.
The unique 56-metre tall tower will feature 120 residential units and office space along with a restaurant, panoramic bar and art gallery. Visitors and guests will be welcomed to the tower by the restaurant and gallery while the penthouse bar will offer views of the coastline and mountains.
Its design will invite vegetation on balconies to thrive due to the open atmosphere, which is ideal for plants. Against the buildings white facade, this will create a vertical garden with bring colour and contrast. Bringing life to the tree building, residents will have the impression they are outside when they are indoors by mixing the two settings.
With the outdoors an important part of life in Montpellier, the structure's balconies draw natural light, absorbing sunshine the same way leaves do. Gizmodo.com.au reported the building's architects were inspired by a tree's efficient properties and the city's tradition for outdoor living, hence the name L’Arbre Blanc, which translates from French to English as The White Tree.