Société Générale

Year of construction: 1995
Architects: Michel Andrault, Pierre Parat and Nicolas Ayoub, with Christian Germanaz
Surface area: 126,000 sq.m
Height : 167 m. 36 and 37 floors
Other names: Chassagne and Alicante

Address: 17/18, Cours Valmy - 92 800 Puteaux
Nearest car park : Valmy
Nearest metro station: La Défense Grande Arche

The delivery of the Chassagne and Alicante towers, which have become Société Générale towers, is the result of a long consultation process. In order to group together all its services, the bank decided to move to La Défense, in the Valmy district. The Chaix et Morel branch is then in charge of the project. But a dispute between the architects and the bank led the latter to another site: the ZAC Paris Rive gauche, in the Austerlitz sector. A new consultation was organised in 1990. The Société Générale then selected the project for the twin towers, for which the Andrault and Parat agency, with the participation of Nicolas Ayoub, had just submitted the building permit.
In spite of its off-centre position, the complex stands out from its surroundings because of its height, 167m. Its original shape is composed of bevelled half-cylinders linked by a central volume housing the agora and the trading rooms.
The perfect symmetry of the two towers, respectively assigned to banking and administration activities, conceals some differences, however. Chassagne has an interior cladding of white limestone, while Alicante is clad in red marble. As a result of the presidency, one tower is double the height of its neighbour.
Particularly exposed, the facades were designed to withstand winds of 350 km/h. The entrance is marked by a spiral by sculptor Tom Carr.

A word about the architects

Michel Andrault (1926) and Pierre Parat (1928) joined forces in 1957 and for almost forty years held a leading position on the French architectural scene. Known for their work on housing (the Pyramids of Epernay and Evry), they also designed major facilities such as the Palais omnisports de Paris-Bercy.
In 1985, they entered La Défense and, along with Henry La Fonta, became the most influential architects on the site. They accompanied its transformation over nearly ten years and signed several master plans. In terms of projects, Michel Andrault and Pierre Parat are involved in around ten projects, including the restructuring of the CNIT and Le Michelet-Gan Groupama. In 1997, the Renaissance Hotel marked their last collaboration. Michel Andrault then continued his career by founding the Conceptua agency with Nicolas Ayoub.