Towers, housing, public spaces... Discover Paris La Défense in the feminine!

Project Odyssey 2021 © Cro&Co - Studio Gang

For many decades, the district's towers were designed almost exclusively by men. But things are changing and new emblematic buildings, designed by women, are coming up. Public spaces are also being designed with their expectations in mind, or named after emblematic female figures who have left their mark on their era. An overview of feminisation at work on all levels!

Women architects at the helm

Project Odyssey 2021 © Cro&Co - Studio Gang

Several housing programmes in Nanterre have been designed by women, for example the sisters Selma and Salwa Mikou who are the inspiring directors of the studio that bears their name, or Farshid Moussavi of the FMA agency. This is also the case for two of the three buildings of the Odyssey project, one of which was designed by Nayla Mecattaf of CroMe Studio, who designed the first reversible building in La Défense, while Jeanne Gang, an American architect with a recognisable signature, designed another; or the Altiplano restructuring project designed by Vera Matovic of B. Architecture.

Food for thought for future developments

[Les points de mire] The focus of Béatrice Casadesus 2015 © Paris La Défense - 11h45

To go further in this process of including women in public space, the public establishment Paris La Défense has launched several lines of thought. The aim is to integrate their needs into the design of public spaces in terms of safety or mixed use. This will be the case in the Plaine des sports, future public space of Les Groues, following a study carried out by the University of Paris Nanterre. But also to give more prominence to women artists.

To great women the grateful nation

The square Zaha Hadid 2021 © Paris La Défense - Sabrina Budon

In France, only 2% of streets are named after women, compared to 10% in Paris La Défense. Highly symbolic, the naming of public spaces is an opportunity to honour women who have distinguished themselves through their struggle, commitment, creativity and talent. In Paris La Défense, several places already pay tribute to them: the Frida Kahlo, Joséphine Baker, Rosa Bonheur, Zaha Hadid squares... And there is more to come! In the Boieldieu district, the central space of the Rose de Cherbourg, a future place for sharing and festivities, will be named "Place Louise Bourgeois". This great French artist, committed to the cause of women, has long explored the themes of universality and relationships between people. On the Coupole-Regnault side, the square in front of the Latitude building ( will be named after Olympe de Gouges, who became an emblematic figure of feminism through her outstanding writings.

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