When Gustave Eiffel buit his iron tower in 1889 he caused a sensation because of the industrial look and the bare construction of the town´s landmark to be.
This year at the end of March the young designer Nicolas Mouret unveiled his proposal for the Eiffel competition, a flexible and light tower, which caused a furore, partly because of its beautiful appearance but also for another less pleasant reason.
The construction consists of eight mono-bloc structural members which are articulated by gimbals and guys that ensure stability while allowing rotating movement. They are fibre concrete tubes filled by ultra strong fibrecrete and carry spoke- beams with triangulated extremities, stiffened and tied by cables.
“This project is a part of a reflection concerning the lack of naturalness in a city and the way to balance it without the use of organic matter, living vegetable matter.
My conclusion was that the city would be a vast expanse of static buildings buildings in which the only movements would be the streams of traffic. On the contrary, nature would be a synonym for perpetual motion. Therefore this tower (ultra strong fibrecrete) would be moving in a frozen city.
The other constraint was to take a stand in the tradition of Gustave Eiffel’s works, and to build with resources that he wouldn´t have been able to use in his time.
Also in my opinion it wasn’t possible for me to think of a building of 380 meters in height that would be functional only at its single root, that’s why the stance of this moving tower that would give life to Paris, reminding us of natural movements like the dance of the grass, the flow of the waves, clouds of sand in the desert…” Nicolas explains.
The 24-year old Nicolas actually won the Eiffel competition, but was disqualified immediately after the jury found out that he wasn´t an architecture student but a design student, which is against the rules of the competition. By the way, Gustave Eiffel wasn´t an architect but an engineer.