Text description provided by the architects. 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.
An efficient, functional, and flexible tower. The tower has been designed as a prime resource for the company. Divided into three distinct parts, it includes:
- a main body where all levels are devoted to office space.
- 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.