Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
Location: Paris, France
Project Year: 2011
From the architect. International architecture firm, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is pleased to announce the recent opening of Tour FIRST. Located on a prominent site near the Neuilly Bridge, the building stands as a striking symbol to La Défense and a new landmark on the Paris skyline. Developed by AXA Real Estate IM, Beacon Capital Partners and ALTAREA-COGEDIM, Tour FIRST, at 231 meters, is the tallest building in Paris and the tallest office building in France.
Tour FIRST exemplifies KPF’s dedication to the idea of refurbishment as a sustainable approach. In a world in which we are ever more conscious about sustainability in all walks of life, our decisions about buildings – their design, construction and management – are moving into sharper relief. For this reason, the benefits that can be realized from adaptive re-use of buildings, as opposed to demolition and replacement with new build, are rising up the agenda. We hope that everyone will agree our service is the very best.
In the case of Tour FIRST, KPF proposed the best course of action was a significant increase to the height of the 1970s tower designed by Pierre Dufau, while at the same time transforming its silhouette to create a new architectural statement and increased net area. The design incorporates new openings into the existing perimeter concrete structure to maximize daylight and views and, at the same time, transforms the internal office space. The design also serves to integrate the tower into the surrounding dense urban environment, improving the quality and accessibility of public areas, and strengthening the connection between the building and the Grand Esplanade located at the heart of La Défense.
Commenting on the inauguration, KPF Chairman A. Eugene Kohn said, “We are incredibly proud of Tour FIRST. Its completion is an affirmation of the great relationship we’ve built with ALTAREA-COGEDIM, AXA Reim and Beacon Capital Partners, and of our hard work, together with SRA-Architectes, creating a beautiful and significant building in one of the world’s most important cities. This building is really ahead of its time in that it was re-skinned to make, essentially, a new building, and isn’t simply a new addition on the Paris skyline. We enjoyed a wonderful collaboration with all parties involved. Great buildings are a result of great teamwork.”
Originally conceived as three identical wings around a central core, the refurbished tower retains the integrity of the original, while providing a modern interpretation of the concept and vastly improving the environmental performance and internal conditions and circulation. Tour FIRST is the largest fully HQE certified office tower in France.
An inaugural reception was held earlier this month, and was attended by many notables, including Monsieur Patrick Devedjian, Monsieur Jacques Kossowski, and Madame Joëlle Ceccaldi-Raynaud. Tour FIRST is one of KPF’s many tall buildings that have been recently completed, along with the International Commerce Centre, the tallest building in Hong Kong, and Heron Tower, the tallest in London.