Year of construction: 2020 Architect: Valode et Pistre Height: 167m, 37 floors Surface area: 48,146 sq.m
Address: 12 place de l'Iris - Esplanade Nord (Courbevoie) Nearest transport: Esplanade de La Défense
Following an international consultation, the architectural, technical and environmental project for the new Saint-Gobain Tower was designed by the Valode & Pistre agency. Its design is crystalline and airy, evoking Saint-Gobain's historic business: glass. The Saint-Gobain Tower is since 2020 the world headquarters of Saint-Gobain. It also features balconies and terraces that are fully accessible to the tower's users, and its base is made up of a showroom space where common services, restaurants and an auditorium are located. As for the top of the tower, the 37th floor, called Espace Plein ciel, it is dedicated to events and offers a panoramic view, in a cosy and green space.
It is located in place of the former Iris building. The latter was demolished in 2016 to create a larger square. At the same time, Paris La Défense, the developer and manager of the business district, has redeveloped the entire area.
In 2020, the tower received the Geste d'Or Architecture, Innovation and Material. This award recognizes the innovative construction techniques used, the bold architecture and the glass envelope of the tower. lThe Saint-Gobain Tower also received the four main international environmental certifications in 2021, with the highest scores. Awarded for its environmentally focused approach.
A word about the architects
Denis Valode (1946) and Jean Pistre (1951) founded their firm in 1977. In 20 years, it became one of the most important in France. This success was due, among other things, to the reconstruction of the Lainé warehouses in Bordeaux and the construction of the L'Oréal factory in Aulnay-sous-Bois. Today, the two architects are particularly involved in the design of high-rise buildings - in Saint-Denis, Lyon, Beijing and Bombay - and sustainable development.
The tower is divided into three rhombohedrons, cubes whose faces are not square but diamond-shaped. The base houses a showroom, showcasing the company's know-how. The sculptural body is designed according to a play of horizontal and oblique lines, with an almost musical rhythm. "Such an architectural object cannot escape observation. It must have a poetic dimension. Emotion creates adhesion," comments Valode.
Each floor has a terrace with a garden, like cavities dug into the façade. An undeniable technical feat, the head of the tower takes the form of a 40-meter high greenhouse, perched at an altitude of some 150 meters. Made of electrochromic glass, its second skin can change color to protect from the sun.