Berlin-based architecture firm Studio Other Spaces has completed its latest project over the rooftops of Paris, France. Entitled “The City That Sees,” this installation occupies the top two floors of the Préfecture de Paris on Boulevard Morland and offers visitors an immersive architectural experience in the middle of the Paris skyline.
The Seeing City is part of the wider Morland Mixité Capitale project, which is conceived as a cosmopolitan center with renewed vigor and boasts a one-of-a-kind experience with optical illusions, mirror panels and a kaleidoscopic roof that disappears into the sky.
Located on the 15th and 16th floors, the installation features a bar and restaurant with dramatic mirrored ceilings that reflect the Parisian streets below on the outdoor terrace and interior spaces.
“The two levels are transformed into an immersive optical apparatus that transports Parisian street life onto the roof and its interiors, while reflecting the activity in these spaces back to the city below,” Studio Other Spaces said. “As visitors move through the 15th floor, its mirrored ceiling that extends from exterior to interior appears to dematerialize the space. The streets of Paris float above them like an upside-down city in motion.”
Climbing to the 16th floor roof, visitors found themselves mesmerized by a glass ceiling filled with rows of kaleidoscopes. Each box consists 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 smooth transition between the structure and the sky, giving visitors the feeling of being drawn into the upper layers of the atmosphere.
“The overall fading effect of the work seamlessly combines a panoramic view of the city with a kaleidoscopic sky expanded by mirrors,” the studio explained.
The ever-changing experience and visual impact depends on street traffic below, weather, time of day and natural lighting. Both upper floors of the building feature large floor-to-ceiling glass panels that seamlessly merge the indoor space with the open sky, while also immersing guests in the architectural installation of the space itself.
“The City That Sees is driven by its intangible qualities, which are inspired by the desire to optically interpret an existing building, rather than replace the original structure with something entirely new,” Studio Other Spaces said. “The intention is to connect people to the everyday context in which they live, in a way that is surprising and dynamic, whether they are hovering above or looking down from the boulevard.”
Source: Studio Other spaces