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Allianz Acacia

Year of construction: 1985
Architects: Gino Valle, Fernando Urquijo and Giorgio Macola. Surface area: 30,700 sq.m
Height: 34m. 9 floors
Old name: PB26

Address: 13, esplanade du Général de Gaulle - 92800 Puteaux
Nearest car park: Michelet
Nearest metro station: Esplanade de La Défense

The Allianz Acacia building marks the arrival of a transalpine team of architects in place of a project conceived by Henri La Fonta. This arrival results in the integration of a hotel program - Sofitel La Défense - into the office building. Returning to the rule of alignment, unknown in the business district, the project managers extended the three blocks of the building as far as a rotunda that closes the complex.

Mostly influenced by the Haussmanian style, the building does, however, contain some elements specific to Italian culture, such as the covered galleries running along the main façade. The ensemble thus creates links with the public space of La Défense. Its simple forms are enlivened by indentations and stone facings (travertine floors, grey bases and black tops).

A word about the architects

Gino Valle (1923-2003) is one of the most important figures in post-war Italian architecture. A disciple of Carlo Scarpa and Walter Gropius, he was mainly influenced by the work of Franck Lloyd Wright. Mainly active in the Venice region, he joined forces with Giorgio Macola, with whom he designed the Padua courthouse and the residences of the Giudecca in Venice.

In 1985, the duo opened an office in Paris with Fernando Urquijo, an Argentinean architect known for IBM's architecture program. They led the renovation of the Edward VII block in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. In La Défense, the team creates the Allianz Acacia building and the Sofitel La Défense. Fernando Urquijo and Giorgio Macola are also participating, along with Jean Willerval, in the construction of the Descartes Tower for IBM.