Morphosis, the Los Angeles architectural firm headed by 2005 Pritzker prize-winner Thom Mayne,These images of their competition-winning tower for the La Défense business district in Paris.The design, called the “Phare” (beacon), was declared the winner of the architectural contest on Friday 24 November. At 300 metres high, the 68-storey tower will be slightly shorted than the 320m Eiffel Tower when it is completed in 2012.
Drawing on the power of parametric scripting, the design of the Phare Tower gathers disparate programmatic, physical, and infrastructural elements from the requirements of the building and its surrounding context, and synthesizes these into a form that seamlessly integrates the building into the idiosyncrasies of its site while expressing multiple flows of movement. In the spirit of the Paris Exposition competition proposals, the tower embodies state-of-the-art technological advances to become a cultural landmark.
Morphosis describe the building as a “hybridized tower” rather than a pure office block as it contains public spaces including a 60m-high atrium, gardens, cafes, shops plus an observation deck and sky restaurant. The building’s lower levels provide pedestrian links between an underground transport hub and the surrounding area.
The building contains “sustainable” technologies including a wind farm on the top and a curving facade designed to minimise solar overheating.
“There’s a fluidity, a sensuousness, a softness to the form as it reaches to the sky,” Mayne says. “Moving around the tower, it appears to shift continually, distinct from different vantage points-not a single image, but a dynamic structure that responds to its site, environment, and performance requirements.”
It will be the first architecturally significant new tall building in Paris since the 110m-high La Grande Arche, designed by Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen and completed in 1990.