At the edge of La Défense, the largest business district in Europe and in the axis of a future urban boulevard, the tower appears like a diaphanous vertical band, lightly folded at its centre. This white line plays with the lights from the north and is illuminated in the evening like a great totem. It looks towards the Seine and towards the centre of Paris.
The new tower is a singular element in this part of western Paris. As if cut out of the cityscape, the tower’s curved and bent form hides its interior courtyard, cut out of the tower’s core, almost as if out of the city itself.
The tower’s façade is inclined into the fold of the building. At this point ANMA has designed the agora, a planted garden space, like a hanging garden this courtyard becomes a place of exchange for all of the users of the tower. This succession of curves forms a landscape of bright vertical layers which contrasts with the smooth, dark and reflective surface of the external skin.
Particular attention to the energy performance of the building’s skin enables for significant energy savings: three sides made out of a simple skin containing aerogel and on the side facing south east towards the Seine two layers of smooth glass covered with photovoltaic mesh ensure that a large surface area of the façade can harvest solar energy and act as a sun shade. The agora is like an incision which funnels natural light into the heart of the tower but also provides air for all of the offices. The air flows through the offices thanks to inertia and the orientation of the tower.
The rentable office floors vary thanks to their position within the tower as the floor plates get slimmer higher up the tower. A crèche, spa as well as an auditorium and restaurants can be found around the agora and are therefore easily accessible to the users of the tower.
A new public space forms part of the project, encouraging and developing urban usage of the area at its base and emphasizing the mixed and internal-external nature of the tower.