Formerly Tour AXA / CB31Paris, France ALTAREA-COGEDIM, AXA REIM and Beacon Capital Partners Saubot-Rouit Associés, Associate Architect Corporate, Office, Repositioning + Transformation 935,000 ft2 / 87,000 m2 Certified ULI Global Award for Excellence (2012); MIPIM Award - Refurbished Office Buildings Category (2011)
On a prominent site near the Neuilly Bridge, Tour First stands as a welcoming symbol to La Défense. Selected as the winning entry in an international design competition, KPF’s design proposes a complete refurbishment of the 1970s tower. The goals of the design are to significantly improve the quality of the rentable area, to ennoble the building entrance, and to create a new, strong architectural image on the Paris skyline. The design also focuses on integrating the building into the dense urban context surrounding it, 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.
KPF’s design solution increases the rentable area by extending the floor slabs to make the dimensions meet current market needs. The design also increases the indoor environmental quality by replacing opaque gable walls to bring natural daylight into office spaces and to open views out to the city. The new tower design reorganizes the entry levels, reinvigorating the entrance hall and improving circulation connecting social spaces. By creating sky gardens, informal meeting and breakout spaces are created along the building’s exterior.
Three newly constructed volumes help integrate the building into its context. To the east, a new horizontal roof covering the pedestrian access announces the newly built entrance to the quartier. To the north, a new volume containing a brasserie and a café defines the fourth side of the orthogonal ‘Place’, while engaging the square with a publicly accessible dining function. To the southwest, a new volume containing a multi-level food court and dining halls overlooks the Boulevard Circulaire.
In addition, a contemporary insulated façade of metal and glass will wrap the building in key areas to reduce solar heat gain. Its application is a balance between engineering constraints and the aesthetic goals of a dynamic form.