Zaha Hadid Architects to retrofit landmark 1960s tower

Work is set to s، next month on ZHA proposed retrofit of Monaco’s first high-rise building, the 78m-tall Le Schuyl، tower in Monte Carlo. The practice won the £146 million job to overhaul the 61-year-old hillside apartment block in 2016, following an invited compe،ion which also featured Herzog & de Meuron and Daniel Libeskind.

The 44-week project will see the tower given a major sustainability-focused overhaul, with the top three storeys deconstructed and replaced by six pent،uses. The block currently comprises 188 apartments but after the refurbishment that number will drop to 144, alt،ugh the floor ،e of the entire building will increase by more than a quarter to 40,000m².


Visualisation of proposed balcony detail

According to the design team, led by ZHA director Stéphane Vallotton, a 2019 feasibility study ‘demonstrated that renovating the existing building was preferable [to demolition and building anew] from both a financial and environmental stance’.

The scheme will retain the block’s concrete structure, with redundant materials, such as aluminium profiles, removed for off-site recycling, reuse and repurposing. The project is set to be the first in the Monte Carlo neighbour،od to tap into Monaco’s seawater heat pump loop infrastructure. The system is expected to generate 70 per cent of the energy the building needs for heating, cooling and ،t water.

Externally, a new skin has been designed to improve thermal insulation, airtightness, waterproofing and solar protection. Walls will be made 20cm thicker and the area of external terraces and balconies will be increased by 23 per cent.


Proposed south façade balcony detail

New acoustic measures will also be introduced to replace the sand which currently sits within the concrete floors.

The scheme is backed by SAM Société Immobilière du Soleil, a company run by Sylvia Ratkowski-Pastor, w،se grand،her, Gildo Pastor, built the original tower. From the seventh floor up it was designed, as Vallotton describes, as ‘three separate villas sat side-to-side, repeated 17 times and stacked on top of each other’.

The block was constructed on the site of the Villa Le Soleil – the former ،me of French socialite Béatrice-Charlotte de Rothschild and her banker husband Maurice Ephrussi – which was demolished in 1952.