La Defense, Paris, France
Designed with SOM, London as Senior Designer
77,500 m² (834,100 ft²)
42 storeys, 215m tall
The design for the refurbishment to AXA Tower in Paris’s La Defense creates an iconic landmark tower whilst improving the efficiency and flexibility of the office floor plates, adding amenity and forming a greater connectivity to the surrounding public realm. The dynamic form is achieved through modifying the existing triple axis building, adding leaseable depth to each of the existing wings and curving the ends of those wings to create the “menhir” profile, sculpting the skyline of La Defense.
The geometry uses one small curve in plan and one large radius in section isolated to the ends of the wings, such that no portions of the exterior wall curve in two dimensions. This allows the client to construct the building as a series of standardised flat glass panels, maintaining a reasonable budget.
The essential challenge of the redevelopment was a planning requirement to maintain the overall area and improve the efficiency, flexibility and leasability of the spaces. To meet the modern market the leasespan was increased from 7.0m to 12.0m which allows for cellular, open-plan and combi-office layouts with a range of floor plate sizes between 1,750m² and 2,150m².
On-site restaurants, new public spaces, pedestrian links to the greater environment, a gymnasium and VIP lounge were added as new amenities bringing the 1970’s office building into the 21st century. An extensive refurbishment of the core and systems improves sustainability and flexible leasing options for the office floor plates and a new high performance exterior wall design increases the extent and penetration of natural light within the office spaces.