Paris’s Tour Montparnasse to Undergo $800 Million Facelift

The winner of an international architecture competition (set to launch next year) will renovate the fifty-nine-floor Tour Montparnasse in Paris and the shopping mall at its base. The comprehensive makeover could cost up to $800 million, reports AFP. With the news, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo expressed hopes that the area around the skyscraper would become the Times Square of France’s capital.

“We are aware that the Montparnasse complex is today seen as ugly and tacky. We want to radically transform its image, turn it into a beacon of modernity that will be the pride of Paris,” said Patrick Abisseror, president of the Demain Montparnasse group.

Architect Jean-Marie Duthilleul, who is leading the competition for the skyscraper’s redesign, envisions a tower “much softer, white or translucid, and above all reflective.” Duthilleul added, “It was here [in Montparnasse] that cubism was invented a century ago. We could use that for inspiration and redesign the tower as though it were conceived by Picasso or Fernand Leger.”

The aim is to have the new tower finished by 2024—potentially in time for the Olympic Games, if Paris wins its bid to serve as host city.