Best Tall Building 100-199 meters Award of Excellence: Tour Saint-Gobain, Courbevoie

Jean-Marc Pascard
Head of Project Management and Development - MRICS
Generali Real Estate, Paris

Denis Valode
Valode & Pistre Architects, Paris

A Legacy of Light Carves a Place on the Skyline

Light is at play throughout the crystalline form of Tour Saint-Gobain, which is fitting as it is headquarters to the company that created the legendary Hall of Mirrors for the Palace of Versailles. The tower’s novel geometry—rhombohedra and cubes with rhombi and parallelogram-shaped faces—results in an enigmatic expression of rhythm, resonance, and harmony. Its prismatic architecture is a perfect illustration of the aesthetic qualities of innovative glazing, with its characteristic properties of light transmission, thermal insulation, and low emissivity. The tower appears to float above the ground. Its sloping undersides, mirrored in the staircase connecting it to the Courbevoie ring road below, broaden the field of vision from the esplanade.

The tower owes its efficiency to the implementation of an array of specific spatial, architectural, and technical solutions. Natural lighting is optimized, with 90 percent of office space located less than 7 meters away from the façade. Flexibility is maximized by the geometry and overall design of the spaces, giving endless possibilities for partitioning the space, or leaving it open. Energy supply is ensured by geothermal energy and completed by urban networks. The climate control system is guaranteed for the comfort of users by low air transfer from floor to ceiling. Large greenhouses or gardens are present on all floors, directly accessible from office areas. The plants themselves play a vital role in the cooling process by naturally transpiring the rainwater collected from the roof and recycling it to water them.

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