Bel Air residence projects gets “green” light

A new apartment complex, the Bel Air, has been given the go-ahead to start works by the municipal council. Here’s more on this modern and energy-efficient site.

Boulevard du Jardin Exotique will be home to a trio of new apartment buildings, collectively being called Bel Air. Featuring 197 apartments, seven to 11 office spaces, a shop, a creche with a 50-child capacity, community facilities and a car park, these buildings are also said to be green as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Currently, the location houses a 1960’s-era bloc of flats, which will be demolished to make way for the new buildings, which will be set up as towers rising up from the 6,000m2 plot. The first building, Bloc A, will be 23 stories high, the second, Bloc B, will be 18, and the third, Bloc C,13, all with five basement levels. Only Bloc B will house the shop, whilst the offices will be spread between the three towers.

Bloc A is set to have 81 apartments, 80 of which will be three rooms. Bloc B will have primarily two or four room apartments with a total of 61 homes in all. Bloc C will have six five-room flats, with the remainder of the 55 being similar to those in Bloc B. The entire site will have sweeping sea views from its perched location.

Space for 301 cars and 108 two-wheeled vehicles will be available, as will 197 storage cellars and a 1,596m2 creche. Additionally, a caretaker’s unit will reside in Bloc A to round out the complex. Construction is expected to be complete by mid-2026.

The project is also meant to be remarkably eco-friendly with low-carbon concrete being used for the foundations, solar protection placed on bay windows, a gray water recycling system being used to water plants, and super-insulated facades.

Another green feature is, literally, green. The project, designed by architect Patrick Raymond, includes a “vertical park”, with plants following the pedestrian pathways and running up the buildings, “as if it had never disappeared”, said council member François Lallemand before the members of the Municipal Council, going on to add it is a way “to form a bushy and tree-lined plant envelope which can be considered as a vertical natural park. The vegetation associated with a system of railings in vertical blades creates a kind of double skin.”

The plants will be hearty enough to withstand the fierce summer sun and are Mediterranean in origin.

Annabelle Jaeger-Seydoux, director of the Mission for Energy Transition, described the project as “exemplary” during the 7th Energy Transition meeting with the press last April. Certified Mediterranean Sustainable Buildings of Monaco (BD2M) silver level, the “maximum for a high-rise building”, and aiming to nab a NF Habitat HQE two-star certification, Bel Air is indeed an ambitious project.

“Our approach is inspired by the views which are today burdened by the building and which will be offered tomorrow to those who cross the borders of Monaco, breakthroughs accentuated by three distinct bodies of buildings which also have the advantage of improving the sunshine both of the forecourt at the back but also of the dwellings around the perimeter of the facades,” Raymond said.

The cost of the project is estimated to be €155 million.



Photo source: Architect Patrick Raymond





Princess’ Foundation teaches Sospel kids to swim

A learn-to-swim programme organised by the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation is allowing more than 300 local school children to learn the life-saving skill of swimming.

On Friday 16th September, Secretary General of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation Gareth Wittstock visited the educational facilities of the Sospel swimming pool with other dignitaries.

During the month of September 2022, the Foundation is partnering with the Town of Sospel and the French Swimming Federation (FFN) for the implementation of the ‘Sospel Natation Azur’ project, which aims to teach swimming to Sospel schoolchildren as well as those from the towns of Breil-sur-Roya and Moulinet.

Photo credit: Eric Mathon, Prince’s Palace

The project will allow nearly 300 children from kindergarten to 6th grade to acquire the minimum skills to ensure their safety in the water during the 10 sessions, and to perform the ‘Sauv’Nage’ test approved by the French Swimming School and the FFN.

On Friday, 70 children from the CP, CE1, CE2 and CM1 classes of the Sospel school were able to enjoy the swimming lessons, supervised by FFN-certified swimming instructors.

The outdoor swimming pool of Sospel, closed for three years, was reopened and renovated in 2022. It will allow for swimming classes to be held on a more regular basis in conjunction with schools and leisure centres.

Photo credit: Eric Mathon, Prince’s Palace

Normally open in the months of July and August only, the swimming pool will open in the month of June 2023 also for a wider reach of the project.

The project is inspired by the program ‘La Turbie Natation Azur’ which, since 2014, teaches swimming to young children before the beginning of summer at the Princess Charlene Municipal Swimming Pool of La Turbie, thanks to a partnership between the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, the City of La Turbie, the Côte d’Azur Committee and the FFN.



Photo above credit: Eric Mathon, Prince’s Palace





Jérôme D’Ambrosio leaves Monaco Sports Group

Monaco Sports Group team principal Jérôme D’Ambrosio has left the team after almost two years, during which he guided them to a second position in the Formula E world championship. 

In a press release on Friday, the Monaco Sports Group, formerly known as ROKiT Venturi Racing, said that the team and D’Ambrosio had parted ways on “amicable terms”.

The team’s previous campaign saw them narrowly miss out on the Formula E world championship, whilst their driver, Edoardo Mortara, also narrowly missed out on the drivers’ title.

Speaking in the press release, D’Ambrosio said, “After two incredible seasons, my journey with the team comes to an end. As I move forward to pursue new opportunities, I would like to thank everyone in the team for their work and dedication, which has led us to our most competitive campaign to date last season. I would also like to thank Susie, Scott and José for having entrusted me with leading the organisation as team principal.”

He continued, “It has been a privilege and I could not have wished for a better environment to evolve in after transitioning from my racing driver career. I wish everyone in the team the very best as they will be moving into a new era of the championship.”

Scott Swid, principal owner and chairman of Monaco Sports Group, said, “We thank Jérôme for his invaluable contribution over the past two seasons, in which he has played a crucial role in helping to bring our vision for the team to life. On a personal note, I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved together, and by putting the best people in place, we’ve built a strong team with bold aspirations for the future.”

He continued, “With this in mind, I’m excited to see what the future holds for both him and us as we edge closer to the start of Formula E’s next generation of competition this January.”

The upcoming season will see the arrival of the Gen3 car, which was unveiled in Monaco in April. The season is set to get underway on January 14 in Mexico City.







Photo by Monaco Sports Group




Two days of talks on the life of Prince Albert I

An international and multidisciplinary symposium will be held over two days this month to celebrate and commemorate the life of the Explorer Prince, Prince Albert I of Monaco, as scholar, humanitarian and benefactor.

Prince Albert I was a visionary and a man before his time. A keen scientist, oceanographer and explorer, the Prince also was an early political, social, and economic reformer whose many achievements and ideas would be relevant in today’s modern world.

To honour his memory, a series of round tables will be held on 24th and 25th September bringing together academics, scientists and art historians reflecting on his work and actions, addressing three main areas, namely the learned prince, the humanist prince, and the patron prince, including an opening on the questions posed by the present.

Some of the highlighted events are a talk by Isabelle Maurin-Joffre, Director of the Archives Department of the Academy of Sciences, and Professor Philippe Taquet, Member of the Academy of Sciences and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Oceanographic Institute, who will speak on the scientific works of the Prince, as well as the final discussion, led by French television personality Stephanie Bern, along with Erik Orsenna and Jean-Paul Pellegrinetti.

Other interesting topics include Prince Albert I on the international stage, sport and outdoor life, military, and his cultural and artistic contributions.

The round tables will be held at the Oceanographic Museum, and entry is free. For more information and for the exact listing of talks, visit the website on





Summer bus line to The Rock ends for season

The number 8 line, set up for the summer by the government and the Compagnie des Autobuses de Monaco, will no longer be in service as of last Sunday.

The 100% electric shuttle bus connected Monaco-Ville, Place d’Armes, Port Hercule, Place Sainte-Dévote, and Rue Grimaldi, between 8pm and 10:50pm this summer.

With a passage every quarter of an hour, it was a convenient way for residents and tourists to easily access the restaurants and shops of The Rock during summer evenings.

The number 8 line had mixed results, according to Roland de Rechniewski, Compagnie des Autobuses de Monaco’s (CAM) Director of Operations, but he says the line has a future, though perhaps next year with different stops.

“There are other possibilities. We have to think about it, experiment to find the right solution and not hesitate to modify it as needed,” he told La Gazette de Monaco. “We are questioning ourselves, we are trying to improve our services while allowing professionals in Monaco, not just in Le Rocher, to have support for their customers.”

The car park, Parking de la Visitation, will remain open to residents of the Principality and neighbouring towns in the evening and on weekends, with about 20 spaces available.



Photo source: Direction de la Communication / Stéphane Danna






Civil servants to get pay hike to combat inflation

Monaco’s Minister of State Pierre Dartout has held his annual press conference marking the return to work after the summer holidays, encouraging people to “remain mobilised and reasonably optimistic”.

At the “back-to-school” press conference on Friday, Pierre Dartout presented the key actions his government intends to undertake in the coming months.

“In a period where the international context is particularly difficult and complex and where inflation is high, accentuated by the Russian-Ukrainian war, of course Monaco is not cut off from the world,” the Minister said at the start of his speech.

Amongst points touched upon, the minister said the government will soon be submitting a draft budget to the National Council, noting a surplus of €8.8 million, and giving credit to the those who are helping to create this extra flow.

“To achieve this, we have the desire to rely on the economic dynamic with significant tax revenues,” he said. “Also, I would like to salute the constant work carried out by all the ministerial departments, in particular when it comes to budgetary arbitration. The objective is to be faithful to our method and to have a budget that covers the necessary expenses while preserving the balance.”

He went on to talk about how the government is pouring cash into housing, highlighting the €208 million they are spending in the next year to provide new homes for locals and residents of the Principality.

“The progress of this National Housing Plan is done in good conditions; almost all requests will be met from 2023 and the operations scheduled thereafter will make it possible to accommodate a higher number of households in the state sector than had been announced in 2019.”

He noted that inflation, “which has reached an unprecedented level since the years 1983-84”, is a real concern, and announced that the government and the National Council have agreed to increase the salaries and pensions of civil servants and agents by 3.5% to combat the strain put on individual households, effective this month.

As far the Monegasque economy goes, the minister said there were encouraging results from the summer season, with trade and tourism back to relatively normal levels, and international visitors back in full force.

“The very large fall in the number of Russian customers does not impact the overall result of the hotel industry in Monaco, because the contribution is changing positively on all the other markets, with in particular European, North American and Middle Eastern customers.” he stated. “In terms of business tourism, the situation is very encouraging, with the holding of major congresses and in particular the return of the ‘Rendez-vous de Septembre’.”

Though Covid is still present, it is not a big worry at the moment, he said, despite a small spike since the return to school, but he added cautiously, “the possibility of an 8th wave is real. This is why everyone must respect the barrier gestures which constitute simple and very effective preventive measures.”

He also touched on the energy crisis, saying that the government is working on energy-savings plans and foresees a time when everyone will be asked to be more careful with regard to daily consumption.

In conclusion, Pierre Dartout announced that on the major issue of mobility, “for which we will have to do more”, in-depth studies are necessary in view of its complexity and, on the issue of Attractiveness, a plan for actions is about to be presented to the Prince, following the various consultations held in recent months.




Photo source: Communication Department / Stéphane Danna