Year of construction: 1987. Renovations in 2000 and 2012
Architects: Fernando Urquijo, Giorgio Macola, with Jean Willerval. Surface area: 77,000 sq.m
Height: 131m. 40 floors
Former name: Descartes
Address: 2, Avenue Gambetta - 92400 Courbevoie
Nearest car park: Corolles
Nearest metro station: La Défense Grande Arche
The land company Icade, owner of the tower, decided to renovate the former Descartes tower, which on this occasion was renamed Eqho.
Eqho comprises 41 floors over 140 metres high, with 79,000 sq.m. of office space and 1,110 private parking spaces. This major renovation made it possible to create a 14-metre hall under a glass roof with double access on the Defense side and on the Courbevoie side. The floors are bright and allow 95% of the workstations to be set up on the first day thanks to its curved rectangle shape. With its sets of ladders and its crowning, the building is in line with American postmodern research. The insulating effect induced by the orientation of the tower is broken by a circular square opening to the north. The façades are clad in stone at the base and glass and aluminum on the upper floors.
Eqho has been awarded the BBC Effinergie Rénovation energy label and the HQE Rénovation and BREEAM "Very Good" certifications. The renovation of the tower was completed in July 2013.
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, with Jean Willerval, in the construction of the Eqho tower for IBM.