Cœur Défense is being remodelled to accommodate new services and newcomers

Project rooftop COEUR DEFENSE 2 (c) YMA

The Cœur Défense operation, completed in 2001 by Jean-Paul Viguier, does not seem to be over. This structure, the largest in Europe (350,000 sq.m.), embodies an architectural innovation that seems to be regaining its strength through new services and arrivals by 2022 with the restructuring of the rooftops and the main hall as well as the development of 3 Parisian schools of higher education within the Cœur Défense tower. These projects reinforce the mix of services offered by the business district for both companies and students. Like the Pacific and CBX towers, these changes demonstrate the possibility for a tower to evolve with its time and its existing environment by proposing new uses without a complete renovation.

The main lobby and rooftops revisited

In line with the greening of the esplanade, and the strategy of the Raison d'être of Paris La Défense, Cœur Défense also seeks to renaturalise its architecture. On the verge of being delivered, the project is also part of the strategy undertaken in recent years by Amundi Immobilier, co-owner, and Scaprim, manager, to reinvent this unique building. The architectural firm YMA, in charge of remodelling Cœur Défense, has imagined and managed two new developments to perfect the image of this architecture, which still has a lot to offer: a major restructuring of the two roof terraces, which have been converted into rooftops, and the complete renovation of the main hall, which communicates directly with the public slab.

Project rooftop COEUR DEFENSE 2 © YMA


Facing north on the Courbevoie side and south on the esplanade, taking advantage of the beautiful views of Paris and the Grande Arche, they have been converted into rooftops and returned to the users of the site. These modifications bring about new aesthetic, landscape and structural developments. These roof terraces have kiosks, wooden decking, platforms and custom-made planters designed to provide relief and increase the proliferation of vegetation in various places. The existing kiosks are covered with vegetation and designed by the architects as plant follies.

Project Hall 2 COEUR DEFENSE 2 © YMA

Hall de Cœur 2

Already operational on the ground floor, the project revitalises the main hall B3 of the building. The interior architecture is conceived in a very contemporary, pure white design. The plant register is also used here. Directly visible from the esplanade, two sculptural forms, evoking the silhouette of a tree, spread out in the volume of the triple height up to the ceiling. In order to complete the enhancement of the Hall, two lines of facades are replaced. By simply enlarging the proportions of the existing glazed modules, the façade opens up more widely to the outside.

Photo of students at La Défense

3,500 students at the start of the new school year

The private higher education operator Omnes Education will group together three of its Parisian schools in Cœur Défense from the start of the next academic year:

  • ESCE: international business school
  • HEIP (Hautes Études Internationales et Politiques): international relations, political science and political communication
  • IFG Executive Education: management, finance, marketing, sustainable development, etc.

These 3 schools will bring together nearly 3,500 students and will move into a building of over 13,500 sq.m. located in the tower in September 2022. This is an opportunity for the students to be at the forefront of the business district.

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