La Défense
    Orion Capital Managers
    Offices, commercial outlets, hotel, residential units
    100 000 sqm

Paris, City of Light… That is the definition of the French capital that inspired our project for the Signal Tower. Today at La Défense, a strongly symbolic building must be inscribed in a collective vision of the city and made to participate in the urban legend. Creating a flame of light in the sky over La Défense and Paris, the approach underpinning the project is characterized by four key oppositions to the environment – oppositions of form, colour, movement and context. It is by focusing on the “entirely” different that we are able to unite the built universe of La Défense, a phenomenon demonstrated, in its own times, by the Grande Arche. Thus, the Signal Tower is a “flame”, a curved, vibrant outline in the urban sky, a shifting shape inserted into the site with a punctilious concern for standing out from the context. It is designed as a counterpoint to its environment and, thanks to this approach, like the Eiffel Tower, it is a faithful representation of the founding metaphor in which Paris recognizes itself and offers itself to the world. By both day and night, the distant urban landscapes of La Défense are immobile. What changes are the light and the wind. But what if, in the city, there were towers that metamorphosed, built objects like flames whose colours varied? Often, nocturnal lighting makes such illusions possible, but the diurnal reality remains static. The flame of La Défense is an object the colour of which shifts and vacillates in parallax fashion. At night, its projects its reflections like so many embers of light. The esplanade at La Défense is divided into two sections. The first, close to the Pont de Neuilly, is laid out in a traditional scheme of planted spaces. The second, which begins at the Agam Fountain, is a large mineral plain bereft of flora. Meanwhile, the “flame” emerges from a forest: it can only be reached by means of a stroll through the trees. It is, therefore, a singular object, totally protected by its atypical context in the environment of La Défense.