Colored Aluminium Struts for Paris’s Newest Skyscraper

Overtaking the Tour First skyscraper, the 48-story, 220-meter HEKLA Tower will be the tallest building in Paris’s La Défense business district, as well as the second tallest building in all of France. Currently under construction and designed by Pritzker prize-winning Jean Nouvel, it is set to become a powerful architectural statement. Due to complete this 2022 in the midst of the sector’s redevelopment program, the futuristic skyscraper spreads over 76,000 sqm of floor area distributed in offices, services, lobbies, an amphitheater, projection rooms, performance halls, restaurants, bars, gyms and loggias. All of this with the aim of providing a unique user experience with vast, flexible workspaces that promote interaction and well-being.

In the last floors, a landscaped head contrasts the neighboring orthogonal buildings, offering panoramic views with generous façades. In this way, in Nouvel’s own words, the project embodies innovation and ambition, seeking to enrich the city’s skyline with a fitting attribute: flamboyance.

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A bold (and colored) design statement

With this in mind, the HEKLA Tower – already considered by many a design masterpiece – had to feature grand design gestures. The façade, for example, is comprised of complex systems of triangular panels that line the exterior of the tower and act as brises soleil, shading and deflecting sunlight to reduce heat gain within the glass volume. But apart from its evident functionality, the prismatic composition aims to enhance the project’s elegant and contemporary aesthetic.

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To meet that purpose, the triangular panels are composed of several colored aluminium struts made specifically for architectural use. In vibrant hues, these emphasize the triangular shape of each individual façade element, adding boldness and character to the building envelope. The metal struts were selected by Ateliers Jean Nouvel from Sandalor’s range of colorful anodized aluminium finishes, which stand out for their ability to combine the material’s positive properties – non-corrosive, lightweight, durable – with a wide color spectrum.

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Rooftop. Image © L'Autre Image

As a result, the coloring process developed by Sandalor prevents designers from sacrificing the metallic character and look of the material, permanently preserving its innate characteristics. Each finish is designed to withstand outdoor weathering, light exposure, water and corrosion with a high mechanical resistance, offering durability while requiring minimal maintenance and cleaning costs.

Wide range of finishes and colors 

Sandalor stands for a wide range of colors in aluminium anodizing for architecture. Combined with numerous surface treatments, the surfaces applied on different formats (profiles and sheets) allow high design flexibility and versatility. In fact, in addition to the aluminium finishes used on the HEKLA Tower, Sandalor offers different shades of olive-yellow, red, blue, and turquoise. These have been successfully applied in various projects and applications, ranging from the Visitor Pavilion in the Eiffel Tower to health infrastructure, research centers, offices and student residence buildings.

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Gold S120-1. Image Courtesy of SANDALOR®
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Turquoise S160-1. Image Courtesy of SANDALOR®

Unifying high-performance with a visual aesthetic value, the Sandalor-hued aluminium surface finish becomes a powerful design statement that adds to the flamboyant character of the HEKLA Tower. Creating an interplay of light and color in the façade, Sandalor supports the uniqueness of the building, shapes its appearance and fulfills the architect’s original vision:

"I imagined a prismatic composition which multiplies the polychrome sun-screens – amber, silver and blue – and mingles glass and metal, brightness and shade, mass effects and transparency.” – Jean Nouvel

For more information on Sandalor’s anodized aluminium finishes, visit their website.

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Cite: Valeria Montjoy. "Colored Aluminium Struts for Paris’s Newest Skyscraper" 25 Mar 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
Bottom ring exterior view. Image © L'Autre Image

法国第二高楼,努维尔事务所 ‘HEKLA 大厦’ 即将完工

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