Renovation on the Tour First skyscraper in La Defense, Paris began in 2007 and was recently completed this year. Built in 1974 and formerly known as the Tour UAP and the Tour AXA, the scraper used to be only 522 ft tall, but after the renovation led by New York-based firm Kohn Pederson Fox, the skyscraper's height was increased to 738 ft tall making it the tallest in France. The renovation also improved the quality of the rentable space inside and upped the energy efficiency giving Tour First status as the largest fully HQE certified office tower in France.
At first conceived as three wings spiraling out from a central core, the newly renovated tower retains the original concept, but adds to it in many significant ways. First, the tower’s height was increased by over 200 ft with an impressive pointed topper so as to create an impressive architectural image for the Paris skyline. Kohn Pederson Fox also set out to improve the aesthetics of the building’s entrances and its connection with the Grand Esplanade located at the heart of La Défense. Inside, the tower’s rentable space was increased and renovated to keep with the times.
As for sustainability, KPF aimed to improve indoor environmental quality by replacing opaque gable walls to bring natural daylight into office spaces and to open views out to the city. The skyscraper now also features a brand new contemporary insulated façade of metal and glass. This high performance facade will wrap the building in key areas to reduce solar heat gain, balancing between engineering constraints and the aesthetic goals of a dynamic form.
Images ©Kohn Pederson Fox