Westfield Les Quatre Temps
Year of construction: 1981 (renovation in 2008).
Architects: Guy Lagnau and Jean Dimitrijevic, with Jean-Philippe Lenclos / Anthony Belluschi (OWP & P Architects) and SRA Architects
Capacity: 230 shops
Surface area: 130,000 sq.m
Height: 24 m. 3 levels
Address: 15, Parvis de La Défense
Nearest parking: Regional Shopping Centre
Nearest metro station: La Défense Grande Arche
France's leading shopping centre by turnover, since its renovation in 2008, Westfield les Quatre Temps was originally intended to be devoted to luxury boutiques and a 4-star hotel. From this initial project, only the ice rink was created in a short-lived way.
Mixing shops and leisure activities, the building develops lengthwise, straddling a large arcaded interior street, bathed in natural light. For the key word given to this project is light. The building is entirely made of glass and mirrors to capture and reflect the zenithal rays.
Inside, a 300-metre-long row of shop windows overlooks the esplanade and is directly accessible by metro. A panoramic elevator highlights the vertical distribution while the walls are adorned with artwork and engravings. Each space has its own identity.
Westfield les Quatre Temps is a true architectural but also technical feat. The columns crossing the four levels of the car parks are installed on a grid of 16 m by 8 m, a technique necessary to support the 530,000 tons of this colossus.
A word about the architects
Guy Lagneau (1915-1996) and Jean Dimitrijevic (1926-2010) set up their agency in 1952, in association with Michel Weill (1914-2001). Known for their work for the André Malraux Museum of Fine Arts in Le Havre, the trio's artwork is mainly in black Africa (Mauritania, Guinea, Senegal...).
In the 1970s, they founded the Atelier d'études architecturales (ATEA) and turned more towards the international scene. Their arrival on the site of La Défense is mainly the result of their friendship with Émile Aillaud, then consulting architect at EPAD. They paid homage to him by designing a lattice structure along the length of the building echoing the one Emile Aillaud had imagined for the same site.
Jean Philippe Lenclos (1938) was above all a colourist. He graduated from the École des arts décoratifs de Paris in 1960 and worked for many companies: Nissan, Moulinex, Renault, L'Oréal...
A regular visitor to shopping centres, he worked at the Créteil shopping centre in 1974. He designed the plastic animation for the walls of the Westfield les Quatre Temps and signed his first logo.
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 big 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).