ZAC DANTON, FRANCE, PARIS, 1991
An office tower with an unexpected volume which cantilevers
How to intervene in the robust chaos of the Paris business centre La Défense... to build next to the "Tour sans Fin” - Europe’s eventual seventh wonder. It is impossible, by definition to compete with this tower by Jean Nouvel. The potential contrast is between the sublime and the banal.
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The client insisted on standard office space. We answered with a minimalist approach: a classical modular repetition with an unexpected volume.

First we found that chance had left a triangular site, defined by an elevated motorway, a yet to be designed square and a project for a university. Together with the site for the Tower it forms a rectangle, creating the opportunity to realize accidental serenity in La Defense. Inside the sockle: motorway, subway station, parking... On the sockle, a pedestrian level with restaurants, the high slab taking maximum distance from the tower and the other limit a triangular, dense, low rise building.

The slab’s slim profile marks the edge of the hyper centre of La Défense and the beginning of a yet to be redeveloped part of the outer ring of Paris.
The slab is made of two volumes, the upper part shifted from its torso, separated by a horizontal billboard-floor emitting situationist messages. This floor stretches toward the cubic 'Grande Arche’ the symbol of the continuity of the Paris axe. The skin of the building is of horizontal glass brises-soleil, creating a well-defined volume next to the dissolving 'Tour sans Fin’.

FACT SHEET
Project:
An office tower with an unexpected volume which cantilevers

Client:
Capri Enterprises

Year:
1991-1995

Status:

Discontinued, final design and building permit realized, project canceled in 1995

Type:
Office

Location:
Paris, France

Site:
La Défense, next to the 'Tour Sans Fins'

Program:
Office building, 42,000m2

Budget:
42,000,000 Francs

COLLABORATORS
Engineer:
Ove Arup and Partners, Coyne et Bellier, Trouvin Ingenierie, Intégral Ingenierie, Cabinet Casso et Cie., ACV


CREDITS
Design:
Rem Koolhaas, Winy Maas, Anne-mie Depuydt, Floris Alkemade, Farshid Moussavi, Christine Enzman, Christophe Cornubert, Frans Blok