The building of about 49,000 sqm on 44 floors and 165 meters high aims to achieve exemplary environmental quality with a strong emphasis on urban integration, energy performance, and user comfort.
Designing a new tower in La Défense today involves solving several issues from a wide variety of fields: functional issues (creating a flexible place and an efficient building) – technical and constructive issues (a complex site with many constraints) – the quality of living conditions in a high-rise building – urban issues (with the evolution of a business district to a more urban living model) and also symbolic issues (the headquarters of a major French company)
Notwithstanding all these concerns, a tower, more than any other building, is about people and how it affects them. Emotions are expected to be felt at the sight of such a building and the architect should strive to bring about these feelings and this excitement.
The tower’s architecture shows originality and can be compared to a grouping of three crystals capturing and scattering light with a play on reflection and transparency. The dynamic silhouette of the building, through the assembly of three oblique prisms that, in an anthropomorphic way, resembles a head, a body, and afoot, allows it to interact with the surrounding towers. The tower thus becomes a figure turning its head and slightly stooping as a sign of warm welcome.
Moreover, nature is given the centre stage: large greenhouses contribute to the aura and environmental performance of the building while gardens on all floors can be directly accessed from the office spaces.
– a lower part that houses such services as open access areas, including a showroom on the esplanade level.
– highest floors located in the top glazed prism,i.e. the head of the tower, which encompasses reception areas, meeting places, and the “espace plein ciel”, a stupendous gathering area with panoramic views.
An outstanding working environment. The office floors benefit from panoramic views and enjoy strong natural lighting. Gardens can be accessed from the office spaces; although outdoors, these areas are wind-sheltered.
An environmental and energy-efficient tower. The tower’s architecture has been designed with environmental concerns in mind. Spatial, architectural, and technical solutions contribute overall to the efficiency of the tower in this regard.
A project conveying the qualities of Saint-Gobain. The Saint-Gobain holding is now a leader in the distribution of construction materials and products. Glass, however, remains an emblem of Saint-Gobain’s traditional activity and thanks to its crystalline architecture, the tower emphasizes its aesthetic qualities and its properties of light transmission, thermal insulation, and low emissivity.
Architects: Valode & Pistre
Area: 49000 m²
Photographs: Sergio Grazia, Laurent Kronental
Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Saint-Gobain
Lead Architects: Denis Valode – Jean Pistre
Clients: Generali / Saint-Gobain
Engineering: Egis,Terrell, Artelia, Arcora, Movveo, G-Sir, Transsolar, 8’18’’
Consultants: Batiss, Lasa, Artelia QEB
Building Contractor: Vinci Construction
project description courtesy of architects