Revitalising the Paris skyline
Building upon its experience with the Signal Tower, in 2009 PCA-STREAM was invited to participate in a select competition for the design of a new office block on the banks of the Seine, the Pont d’Issy Tower at Issy-les-Moulineaux. At the heart of the perimeter of Greater Paris, the project is the opportunity to establish a strong symbol in the landscape of the Ile-de-France region, along the axis of the Seine, the backbone of the region. The programme includes an office tower along with an annex dedicated to housing. In the context of an economic crisis, designing an office block with very high level of environmental quality requires a rigorous optimisation of building and technical choices. In this era of sustainable development, gratuitous architectural expressiveness must thus give way to a more minimal and less showy design of the desired virtue. Responding to this challenge then accompanies the emergence of a new aesthetic.
The search for a soft and abstract image, combined with a concern for constructive rationality, have resulted in a tower that spreads out like luminous monolith, abandoning any ostentatious expression of its environmental qualities. Largely glazed, it is protected from external thermal input by a double covering formed by vents whose depth and density vary according to the facade's level of exposure to sunlight. This proven system ensures an efficient mastery of energy expenditure. Large urban loggias that cover a number of floors, are carved into different areas of the tower. Shielded from the elements, these openings provide outside spaces that are accessible to the inhabitants, and bring natural views and light into the heart of the plateaus, even where dividing walls have been erected.
A multi-faceted urbanity
Halfway up the tower, the sky lobby and the brasserie open out onto a vast three storey loggia that overlooks the Seine valley. Punctuating the tower's silhouette, the openings are equipped with luminous and mirrored walls. This set up brings life to these interstices, through an interplay of colours and images; a principle that is both simple and low in energy consumption thanks to the use of programmable leds. The Pont d'Issy Tower thus becomes a visual object in perpetual movement, a distant evocation of Jean Dubuffet's Tour aux figures, which it overlooks. Its symbolic presence is strongly affirmed in the rapidly growing landscape of Greater Paris.