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Carpe Diem

Year of construction: 2012
Architects: Robert Stern, Saubot, Rouit and Associates. Surface area: 47,100 sq.m.
Height: 162m. 35 floors

Address: 31, place des Corolles - 92400 Courbevoie
Nearest car park: Corolles
Nearest metro station: Esplanade de La Défense

The Carpe Diem tower is the first operation in the Demolition-Reconstruction Renewal Plan. Since 2012, it will replace a building built for France Telecom in 1982. Although it is the result of a Franco-American collaboration, the building is no exception to the dominant construction rule in Europe. Its concrete structure is clad in clear glass.

The division of the facade into dihedrons, which gives the building its rhythm and variety, is part of the research carried out by Robert Stern over the past several years. Its architecture is articulated around two faces: the north and south façades in "diamond point" marks a strong aesthetic gesture thanks to the multiple facets of glass that reflect the light, as a counterpoint the east and west façades are smooth and soft. The treatment of the ground floor, rather sober at the level of the slab, is deliberately accentuated on the boulevard side, giving the tower an urbanity different from that of the 1960s.

Carpe Diem is a 38-storey office tower with a total surface area of 44,000 sq.m. including 400 sq.m. of shops, and a height of 162 metres.

This operation has been the subject of a strong environmental quality approach. The Carpe Diem tower has been awarded the Very High Energy Performance label (THPE 2005) and the dual HQE certification issued by the CSTB (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment) and "Leed Platinum" certification issued by the U.S. Green Building Council.

In addition to its architectural and environmental quality, the Carpe Diem Tower asserts an urban bias that seeks to open up to the city. Thus, the treatment of its surroundings offers the possibility of connecting, by means of a monumental staircase, the esplanade of La Défense to the Boulevard Circulaire treated as an urban boulevard.

After demolition of the France Telecom building, the foundation stone was laid on 14 March 2011. On 15 February 2012, the tower was awarded an Immoweek Golden Stone.

The tower was inaugurated on 17 September 2013.

A word about the architects

The leading figure of American postmodernism, Robert Stern (1939) opened his agency in 1969. He was then a critic, aimed at dismantling the system of the modern movement, and a master builder reintroducing elements of the American classical style. Accustomed to colourful designs, he nevertheless delivered the Carpe Diem tower, not without adding his personal touch of a dihedral façade.

SRA Architects was born in 1996 from the association of Jean Rouit, Hervé Metge and Clémence Fiant-Saubot - daughter of Roger Saubot, Rouit's former employer. The agency quickly specializes in large scale projects in collaboration with the major names in the architectural world.

At La Défense, the firm joined forces with its American counterpart, Kohn Pedersen Fox, for the refurbishment of the Logica (former EDF-GDF tower) and First (former UAP tower) towers, as well as for the construction of the Dexia tower in 2005. SRA Architects are also involved in projects for the Défense Plaza building, the Carpe Diem tower and the Phare tower (project abandoned in 2015).