Archive for June, 2011

June 30, 2011

300 North LaSalle | Pickard Chilton

300 North | LaSalle Pickard Chilton | Chicago, Illinois

“The test of a great building is in the marketplace. The Marketplace recognizes the value of quality architecture and endorses it in the sales price it is able to achieve.” — Jon Pickard, Principal, Pickard Chilton

By Beth Broome

Building high in the Windy City is not a charge to be taken lightly. New Haven–based Pickard Chilton has risen to the challenge with this 1.3 million-square-foot, 60-story tower on the north bank of the Chicago River that emphatically states its presence.

In devising the scheme, the architects worked closely with Chicago developer Hines and anticipated anchor tenant, the international law firm of Kirkland & Ellis (K&E), which previously occupied Edward Durell Stone and Perkins and Will’s Aon Center. With a new home for K&E, the team hoped to create a visible identity as well as a high-performance transparent building that connected with the waterfront, attracted talent, and enabled K&E to use less square footage more efficiently while maximizing perimeter offices.

“The design of 300 North LaSalle was instrumental in securing the anchor tenant K&E,” says Hines vice president Jim Walsh. “The building needed to create an image of quality. Pickard Chilton’s selection of materials, from the curtain wall’s stainless steel to material choices in the lobby and the public plazas, as well as their detail in the overall design, achieved that goal.” This and flexible, efficient floor plans were also instrumental in attracting tenants for the 25,000-square-foot rentable floor plates. “In many cases,” points out Walsh, “these tenants will be paying more per square foot but taking less square footage.”

To maximize daylighting and views, the team raised the ceilings to about 10 feet and employed floor-to-ceiling low-E glass (with stainless steel shade fins). And to achieve LEED Gold CS certification and an Energy Star rating, they diverted 98 percent of demolition and construction waste and specified a green roof and condenser water supplied by the river, among other things.

“The building opened 90 percent leased in a tough leasing market and quickly leased to over 96 percent,” says Walsh. As a further testament to the building’s success, Hines sold it in 2010 for a record $655 million — at $503 per square foot, the highest price ever paid for a downtown Chicago office building, claim the architects. “You can achieve your business objectives by simply doing a box,” says Pickard Chilton principal Jon Pickard. “However, 300 North LaSalle transcends that. It contributes to the city at many levels — it has a dignity that goes beyond a bottom-line commercial focus and a refinement that is consistent with the history of Chicago.”

Architect: Pickard Chilton
980 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510 
203.786.8600 T / 203.786.8610 F

Completion Date: May 2009

Total construction cost: $480 million

Gross square footage: 1.3 million sq.ft.


Owner: KBS Real Estate Investment Trust, Newport Beach, California

Developer: Hines, Chicago, Illinois

Pickard Chilton
980 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510
203.786.8600 T / 203.786.8610 F

Personnel in architect’s firm who should receive special credit: 
Jon Pickard FAIA, RIBA; William D Chilton FAIA, RIBA; Anthony Markese AIA, RIBA, LEED AP

Design Team:
Benjamin Simmons, David Brown, Charisse Bennett, Christopher Lee, Deborah Lukan AIA, Jonathan Stitelman, William Traill, Maxwell Worrell

Architect of Record:
Kendall/Heaton Associates Inc.
3050 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 1000
Houston TX 77056

Structural Engineer :                               
Magnusson Klemencic Associates
1301 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3200
Seattle, WA 98101-2699

MEP Engineer:                                        
Alvine Engineering
1102 Douglas on the Mall
Omaha, NE  68102

Civil Engineer:                                         
600 W Fulton St # 7
Chicago, IL 60661-1259


Wolff Landscape Architecture, Inc.
307 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 601
Chicago, IL 60601

Quentin Thomas Associates, Inc.
Two Hillcrest Avenue
Douglaston, NY 11363

Cerami & Associates
404 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10018

BVM Engineering
834 Inman Village Parkway NE, Suite 230
Atlanta, GA 30307

Building Automation:                                
HMA Consulting
5177 Richmond Avenue, Suite 640
Houston, TX  77056

Vertical Transportation:                           
Persohn/Hahn Associates
908 Town and Country Blvd., Suite 120
Houston, TX  77024

Code/Life Safety:                                     
Hollingsworth Architects LLC
740 South Federal Street, Suite 1209
Chicago, IL 60605

Curtain Wall Consultant:                          
CDC, Inc.
8070 Park Lane, Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75231

General contractor:              
Clark Construction Group LLC
Bethesda, Maryland

Alan Karchmer
3400 Patterson Street NW
Washington, DC  20015

Peter Aaron/Esto
222 Valley Place
Mamaroneck, NY 10543

Scott McDonald
Hedrich-Blessing Photographers
400 North Peoria
Chicago,Il 60622

CAD system, project management, or other software used:  AutoCAD (Base design/modeling and production software); 3D Studio Max (Rendering software); Primavera (File/Submittal management software); Adobe CS (Illustrator, Photoshop,InDesign).


Structural system
Steel Frame w/ Concrete Core

Exterior cladding
Metal Panels: Formawall (Penthouse Walls) Permasteelisa (Curtain Wall Metal Panels)

Metal/glass curtain wall: Permasteelisa

Precast concrete: Gate Precast Company

Built-up roofing: American Hydrotech

Glass: Viracon

Entrances: Kawneer

Wood doors: Lambton Door Co.

Fire-control doors, security grilles: Cornell (Insulated Coiling Doors)

Special doors): Hydrarol (High Speed Roll Up Doors)

Locksets: Sargent

Closers: Norton

Exit devices: Sargent

Interior finishes
Acoustical ceilings: Armstrong (Public Areas & Back of House) & USG (Parking Garage)

Suspension grid: Armstrong (Public Areas & Back of House) & USG (Parking Garage)

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: MARC Woodworking, Inc.

Paints and stains: Sherwin Williams

Floor and wall tile: American Olean

Resilient flooring: Armstrong

Carpet: Durkan

Interior ambient lighting: Columbia

Downlights: Lite Frame

Exterior: Hubbell

Elevators/Escalators: Kone

300 North LaSalle

The team created a pedestrian connection to the building by dedicating a half-acre of the 1.2-acre site to two public plazas bridged by a stair.
Photo © Alan Karchmer
300 North LaSalle
An articulated steel crown defines 300 North LaSalle on its prominent site. To maximize the southern exposure of the garden and limit solar gain on the east and west facades, the team placed the tower on the plot’s northern limit.
Photo © Peter Aaron/Esto
300 North LaSalle
he building’s grand, three-story public lobby continues a long Chicago tradition.
Photo © Peter Aaron/Esto
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle at dusk
Photo © Alan Karchmer
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle, east-facing elevation
Photo © Peter Aaron/Esto
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle, view from the bridge
Photo © Alan Karchme
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle, the tower at dusk
Photo © Alan Karchmer
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle, tower
Photo © Pickard Chilton
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle, riverfront
Photo © Peter Aaron/Esto
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle, conference level
Photo © Peter Aaron/Esto
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle, entrance
Photo © Alan Karchmer
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle, lobby
Photo © Alan Karchmer
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle, plan – level 6
Image courtesy Pickard Chilton
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle, plan – lobby
Image courtesy Pickard Chilton
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle, floor plan
Image courtesy Pickard Chilton
300 North LaSalle
300 North LaSalle, section
Image courtesy Pickard Chilton
300 North LaSalle

300 North LaSalle / Pickard Chilton © Alan Karchmer

300 North LaSalle / Pickard Chilton © Alan Karchmer

300 North LaSalle / Pickard Chilton © Alan Karchmer

300 North LaSalle / Pickard Chilton © Alan Karchmer

300 North LaSalle / Pickard Chilton © Alan Karchmer

300 North LaSalle / Pickard Chilton © Alan Karchmer

300 North LaSalle / Pickard Chilton © Alan Karchmer

300 North LaSalle / Pickard Chilton © Alan Karchmer

300 North LaSalle / Pickard Chilton © Alan Karchmer

300 North LaSalle / Pickard Chilton © Alan Karchmer

300 North LaSalle / Pickard Chilton © Alan Karchmer

plan 01 plan 01

plan 02 plan 02

section section

site plan 01 site plan 01

site plan 02 site plan 02

Architects: Pickard Chilton
Civil engineer: Epstein
Developer: Hines
Acoustics: Cerami & Associates
Lightning: Quentin Thomas Associates, Inc.
Landscaping: Wolff Landscape Architecture, Inc.
Structural engineer: Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Project year: 2009
Photographs: Alan Karchmer

Located on the north bank of the  River, the project respects and enhances the tradition of inspiring skyscrapers in the city of  – the birthplace of the skyscraper. The 60-story, 1.3 million gsf project is comprised of office, retail, restaurant, amenity and public spaces as well as below-grade parking. The project is also the new world class home for an international law firm that has been a prominent citizen in  since 1908. At over 783 feet, the project is among the tallest skyscrapers in .

Reestablishing a pedestrian connection to the city, the project features a half acre waterfront public garden with direct access to the river and views of the city. The thoughtful placement of the tower’s rectangular form on the northern limit of its site maximizes the southern exposure of the public garden while it minimizes solar gain on the narrower east and west facades. An asset for this area of , this public space enhances the streetscape at the base of the LaSalle Street Bridge and cascades to the river with a fine dining restaurant, landscaped terraces seating and a waterfront café.

The tower’s design accommodates efficiency and flexibility in interior planning and its floor-to-ceiling glass provides abundant natural light and dramatic views. The transparency and luminosity of its façade create a lighter, delicate silhouette. The tenant’s desire for a modern image anchored in the past informed the design that recalls the  Miesian tradition as well as art deco stepped skyscrapers. The elegant, three-story lobby features a decorative screen of cherry wood and ornamental stainless steel, set off by a floor of golden limestone. The tower culminates with a luminous, articulated stainless steel crown which acts as a beacon along the  River.




June 29, 2011

Biscornet, Paris/France by [BP] Architectures

Project Details:
Location: Paris, France
Type: Housing – Residential
Architects: [BP] Architectures –
Client: Ministère de la Culture / SAGI – SNI
Engineering: BECT
Program: 14 social housing units + GalleryJacques-Henri Lartigue (RDC et R-1)
Area: 1 609 sqm
Photographs: Sergio Grazziz Luc Boegly, Laure Vasconi

Is there an architect who has not dreamed of designing a building for the Biscornet site, which lay abandoned for so long? Its location is truly spectacular: slightly set back from the Place de la Bastille, it lies where the rue de Lyon and the road running along the canal basin meet; on one side you have a perspective towards the Gare de Lyon, on the other a view of the Bassin de l’Arsenal.

Looking at the building that now stands here, one has to admit that the architectural response provided by BP fits like a made-to-measure suit: it’s a hand-stitched design that oozes a very Parisian form of elegance.

Making best use of the trapezoid shape of the plot, the building abuts onto the neighbouring building then gradually tapers forward; it has a graceful, vertical outline. The side blocks are clad in golden aluminium panels whose distortions give the façades an angular relief that plays with the light. When all the window shutters are closed, the continuity and unity of the material are entire; when the residents open them, the vivid colours of the window frames appear, like an exuberant lining alternating flashes of pink, mauve and orange.


June 29, 2011

Pazhou Masterplan | Goettsch Partners

Pazhou Masterplan / Goettsch Partners Courtesy of Goettsch Partners

Pazhou Masterplan / Goettsch Partners Courtesy of Goettsch Partners

Pazhou Masterplan / Goettsch Partners Courtesy of Goettsch Partners

Pazhou Masterplan / Goettsch Partners Courtesy of Goettsch Partners

Pazhou Masterplan / Goettsch Partners Courtesy of Goettsch Partners

Pazhou Masterplan / Goettsch Partners Courtesy of Goettsch Partners

A master plan by Goettsch Partners (GP) has been selected as the winning scheme in the design competition for a prominent site in the new Pazhou district in . The Pazhou Masterplan will consist of three urban parcels that form a triangular site, which is planned for seven buildings totaling 428,000 square meters. The client and developer is Poly Real Estate (Group) Co., Ltd., ’s leading state-owned real estate company.

The winning master plan establishes a framework for the three-parcel site as a vibrant and iconic commercial destination that merges the new riverfront with the larger urban fabric.  A nautilus-like spiral defines the organizing concept for the complex, with its physical center providing a direct visual link to the city’s historic pagoda. The centerpiece of the development is a large public piazza, which helps unify the three urban parcels while clearly segregating pedestrian and vehicular activity. Sustainable design initiatives start with a series of elevated bridges that provide unobstructed breezeways and shade for the ground level. These bridges also house indoor social spaces linking the towers and are topped with habitable garden spaces that minimize the urban heat-island effect.

A landmark tower at the northeast corner of the site is positioned for maximum visibility and presence, creating a presence in the skyline. The six other buildings encircle the piazza and are designed with podium-level retail and dining venues that activate the public spaces. Sky bridges between buildings define the perimeter of the piazza and link the complex, while maximizing views to the riverfront and adjacent canal. These elevated structures also form gateways that lend an overall permeability to the complex.

In the piazza, a terraced court rises from the site’s lower-level pedestrian access, passing beneath the development’s main connecting roadway. Lined with retail and restaurants, this court features a series of distinct landscaped amenities and terminates at a jewel-like exhibition facility, intended to be an educational and cultural venue. This entire network of pedestrian pathways also has a direct link to the area’s subway lines, providing convenient and intuitive access to the development.

The three urban plots each includes a mix of commercial functions. Parcel 4 features the landmark office and hotel tower, as well as a separate serviced apartment tower; the two are organized in a semicircular arrangement fronting the main piazza. Parcel 5 comprises of three office towers triangulated on the development’s southernmost portion and configured around a secondary public plaza. Parcel 10 includes an office tower and a hotel, aligned along the adjacent canal. While each building will have its own unique identity, collectively, the buildings will form an ascending spiral, defining a singular urban gesture for the complex.

June 28, 2011

PNC TOWER | Gensler


Tower at PNC Plaza from Market Square

Tower at PNC Plaza from Market Square

Tower at PNC Plaza from Mt. Washington

Aerial view of Tower at PNC Plaza and existing campus

Interior view of Tower at PNC Plaza


Location: Downtown Pittsburgh; Adjacent to PNC Plaza; at corner of Fifth and Wood Streets

Size: 35 to 40 story office tower; approximately 800,000 square feet

Parking Garage: Approximately 400 spaces (underground)

Construction Budget: Estimated $400 million

Women and minority owned businesses: approximately $40 million

Economic Impact:           Construction to employ 2,500 people with 500 at peak times

Owner: PNC Bank, National Association

Design Architect: Gensler Pittsburgh

Construction Manager: P.J. Dick

Engineer: Buro Happold

Green Building Consultant:           Paladino & Company

Tenant: PNC and street level retail

Developer: PNC Realty Services

Incorporating ground-breaking technology and design strategies, PNC aspires for its new headquarters to be the greenest skyscraper in the world and to exceed the requirements of LEED® Platinum, the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC®) highest certification rating.

To define what is beyond LEED Platinum, PNC’s project team has three aspirational goals:

  • Community Builder: Support Pittsburgh’s existing infrastructure, spur further development and business growth downtown and positively accentuate the skyline as a symbol of PNC’s commitment to the city’s sustainable future.
  • Workplace Innovator: Attract tomorrow’s leaders to Pittsburgh by utilizing innovative space planning and building systems that promote collaboration and productivity, and set the bar for a healthy indoor environment.
  • Climate Responder: Tuned to Pittsburgh’s climate by aggressively pursuing strategies and technologies that minimize resource use and maximize renewable energy opportunities.

PNC’s design team is currently considering the following technologies:

  • Fuel cells, solar panels, geothermal systems and other alternative power generation sources that will significantly reduce carbon emissions
  • Optimally oriented building facades, operable windows, occupancy-based heating and cooling systems and other state of the art energy reduction technologies.
  • Rain water collection, water reuse and retention systems that prevent wastewater release into Pittsburgh’s three rivers when sewers are at capacity
  • The Tower at PNC Plaza is expected to be PNC’s third major LEED-certified GREEN project in downtown Pittsburgh
  • PNC Firstside Center at 650,000 square feet opened in 2000 as the largest LEED-certified building in the world and the first certified under LEED 2.0
  • Three PNC Plaza, which is among the nation’s largest mixed-use green buildings and LEED gold certified
  • PNC Place is one of the largest LEED-Platinum certified buildings in Washington, D.C.
  • USGBC® has recognized PNC for constructing more new LEED® certified buildings than any other company in the world. PNC has more than 125 LEED certified projects nationwide, including 99 for new construction and 26 for commercial interiors (as of May 2011)
  • Green Wall: One of the largest in North America on exterior wall of One PNC
  • PNC has built two parks in downtown Pittsburgh for the enjoyment of employees and the community: Firstside Park and Triangle Park

Design Phase Began – April 2011

Construction Begins – Spring 2012

Open for Business – Summer 2015

From finding creative ways to use recycled materials to conserving energy at our branches to developing smarter ways to bank, PNC does more than provide our customers and employees greener choices. We provide them with greener banks. PNC now has more than 125 LEED-certified green buildings, with around 99 newly constructed certified buildings, more than any company on earth.

In 2002 PNC became the first major bank to apply green building standards to all newly constructed or renovated retail branch offices. In 2007 PNC Bank extended its leadership with the trademark of “Green Branch” term.

Opened in 2010, this high performing building in the heart of our nation’s capital, demonstrates PNC’s commitment to the Greater Washington Area and its ongoing leadership in sustainable building practices. The 350,000 square foot building, which received LEED Platinum certification, houses PNC’s regional headquarters, other office tenants, retail space and parking.

Opened in 2009, Three PNC plaza extended the company’s downtown Pittsburgh campus and expanded upon its award-winning commitment to green building practices. The 23 story building is one of the largest LEED certified mixed-use building in the United States, and includes a 4-star hotel, offices, condominiums and retail space. Adjacent to Three PNC Plaza, at the corner of 5th and Liberty Avenues, is PNC Triangle Park. Serving as a gateway to the city’s south entrance, the green space is and 8,000 square feet, pet-friendly park with bench seating and drought-resistant plantings.

At nearly 650,000 square feet, the equivalent of 12 football fields, Firstside Center opened in 2000 as the nation’s largest, corporate green building. Across the street is Firstside Park. Opened in 2007 it stands on the site of a deconstructed former public safety building for the City of Pittsburgh. The winding paths, benches and numerous trees stand atop 2,500 tons of recycled concrete from the deconstruction.

On the side of One PNC Plaza is one of the largest green walls in North America. About the size of a singles tennis court, not only does the 2,380 square foot soil-based space provide unique public art but it contributes to energy efficiency on PNC’s current headquarters building.

June 27, 2011

Vevey Office Building| A/ZC and Architram

Paris-based Atelier Zündel & Cristea Architects (A/ZC) has shared with us their entry for a competition that seeks to densen the urban fabric of Vevey, a Swiss town on the north shore of Lake Geneva. The project is a collaboration with Swiss firm Architram.

Project Description from the Architects:

This competition is part of a communal initiative to strengthen the urban element at the western entrance to the city of Vevey. Located between two district highways, the site benefits from an advantageous position and a visibility without equal. There is a drawback to this location, however: the noise. Taking into account this significant constraint, we decided to design the building’s casing as a double skin.

Consequently, what might have remained a common white office building, gains originality from the way in which its facades are considered, constructed through the assembly of two types of prefabricated diamond-shaped panels. One type consists of a frame and glass panel, the other of a frame and aluminum panel. The molding effect created by the regularity of the panels, with their slight tilt and inclination, breaks the sight of a stacking of floors, altering and enhancing the urban scale of the building.

In regards to its actual construction, our project is based upon the idea of clear and efficient volumes, rendered pleasing by the meticulous work the outer shell and the central space will demand while striving to achieve their perfection.

Project Details:

Type: Office building, Competition 2011
Location: Vevey (Switzerland)
Client: The Municipality of Vevey
Architects: Atelier Zündel & Cristea and Architram
Cost: 10 M€ (before tax)
Surface: 6,300 m²
Program: Offices and nursery


June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011

Wuhan Greenland Center, Wuhan, China | AS+GG

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, Thornton Tomasetti and PositivEnergy Practice to design world’s fourth tallest building

Fast becoming leaders in the design of tall buildings, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture have just scooped another major project in China which is destined to become the fourth tallest building in the world when construction completes in approximately five years.

Entitled Wuhan Greenland Center, the 606m pillar will be located on the intersection of the Yangtze and Han Rivers and will comprise around 200,000 sq m of commercial office space, 50,000 sq m of high-end residential accommodation, a 45,000 sq m five-star hotel, and a stunning private member’s club in a 27m-tall penthouse volume.

Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill will work as design architects on the 119-storey scheme, with engineers Thornton Tomasetti and energy services, engineering and consulting company PositivEnergy Practice. Speaking on the decision, Gordon Gill commented: “Wuhan is an exciting and important project for our firm as we continue to advance our ideas about performance-based supertall tower design. We look forward to building on past experience on similar projects, with particular emphasis on the relation of architectural form and performance as they pertain to structural wind loads.”

Work is still being completed on the concept design although construction is due to start this coming summer. The structure’s fluid conical form has been deliberately crafted to minimise the volume of structural material needed in construction, whilst its tapered body, softly rounded corners and domed top have been introduced in order to reduce wind resistance and vortex action that occurs around supertall buildings. The tower’s elongated silhouette rises from a tripod-shaped base, tapering gently to an arched apex of smooth curved glass which works in direct contrast to the textured curtain wall of the main column.

June 27, 2011

Museum of the Built Environment, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | FXFOWLE

FXFOWLE designs new key public building in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


FXFOWLE has six active projects within the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), an ambitious 55 million-sq-ft mixed-use urban community located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The firm’s latest project is the Museum of the Built Environment, a new key public building that explores the important role that social, economical and environmental issues play in the development of the Kingdom and the greater region.

The museum is sited on a large plaza bisected by a sunken Wadi, a pedestrian park that flows through the KAFD development. Over 340,000 sq ft is dedicated to museum functions, including permanent and temporary galleries, a 150-seat auditorium and a destination restaurant and terrace. The museum serves as a primary transportation hub for the area, housing a monorail station at its +2 level. For pedestrians it includes connections to neighbouring parcels through a site-wide network of public skywalks at the +1 level.

The Saudi Arabian world heritage sites of Madain Saleh and At-Turaif inspired the museum’s formal concepts of erosion and chiseling of a crystal rock. The programmatic distribution is expressed in the massing by creating greater solidity and opacity on the museum’s upper levels while maintaining transparency on the lower public levels. The building’s façade on the upper levels incorporates prismatic laminated glass panels which create a varied textural quality and allow day light at select controlled locations. Excavation work is currently underway on the Museum, with an anticipated building completion in 2012.

June 27, 2011

Tour First |KPF

KPF's Tour First / Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) © Courtesy of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

KPF's Tour First / Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) © Courtesy of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

KPF's Tour First / Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) © Courtesy of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

KPF's Tour First / Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) © Courtesy of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

KPF's Tour First / Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) © Courtesy of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Plan Plan

Site Plan Site Plan

Section Section

Rendering Rendering

Rendering Rendering

Rendering Rendering

Plans Plans

Plans Plans

Plan & Detail Plan & Detail

Ground Level Ground Level

Detail Detail

Elevation Elevation

Elevation Elevation

Sketch Sketch

Sections Sections

Details Details

Detail Detail

Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Hufton+Crow

International architecture firm, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates () is pleased to announce the recent opening of Tour FIRST. Located on a prominent site near the Neuilly Bridge, the building stands as a striking symbol to La Défense and a new landmark on the  skyline. Developed by AXA Real Estate IM, Beacon Capital Partners and ALTAREA-COGEDIM, Tour FIRST, at 231 meters, is the tallest building in  and the tallest office building in .

Tour FIRST exemplifies ’s dedication to the idea of refurbishment as a sustainable approach. In a world in which we are ever more conscious about sustainability in all walks of life, our decisions about buildings – their design, construction and management – are moving into sharper relief. For this reason, the benefits that can be realized from adaptive re-use of buildings, as opposed to demolition and replacement with new build, are rising up the agenda. We hope that everyone will agree our service is the very best.

In the case of Tour FIRST,  proposed the best course of action was a significant increase to the height of the 1970s tower designed by Pierre Dufau, while at the same time transforming its silhouette to create a new architectural statement and increased net area. The design incorporates new openings into the existing perimeter concrete structure to maximize daylight and views and, at the same time, transforms the internal office space. The design also serves to integrate the tower into the surrounding dense urban environment, improving the quality and accessibility of public areas, and strengthening the connection between the building and the Grand Esplanade located at the heart of La Défense.

Commenting on the inauguration,  Chairman A. Eugene Kohn said, “We are incredibly proud of Tour FIRST. Its completion is an affirmation of the great relationship we’ve built with ALTAREA-COGEDIM, AXA Reim and Beacon Capital Partners, and of our hard work, together with SRA-Architectes, creating a beautiful and significant building in one of the world’s most important cities. This building is really ahead of its time in that it was re-skinned to make, essentially, a new building, and isn’t simply a new addition on the  skyline. We enjoyed a wonderful collaboration with all parties involved. Great buildings are a result of great teamwork.”

Originally conceived as three identical wings around a central core, the refurbished tower retains the integrity of the original, while providing a modern interpretation of the concept and vastly improving the environmental performance and internal conditions and circulation. Tour FIRST is the largest fully HQE certified office tower in .

An inaugural reception was held earlier this month, and was attended by many notables, including Monsieur Patrick Devedjian, Monsieur Jacques Kossowski, and Madame Joëlle Ceccaldi-Raynaud. Tour FIRST is one of ’s many tall buildings that have been recently completed, along with the International Commerce Centre, the tallest building in Hong Kong, and Heron Tower, the tallest in London.

June 27, 2011

Parc Central Social Housing Building | OAB + Peñín Architects

Parc Central Social Housing Building / OAB + Peñín Architects © Diego Opazo

Parc Central Social Housing Building / OAB + Peñín Architects © Diego Opazo

Parc Central Social Housing Building / OAB + Peñín Architects © Diego Opazo

Parc Central Social Housing Building / OAB + Peñín Architects © Diego Opazo

Parc Central Social Housing Building / OAB + Peñín Architects © Diego Opazo

Parc Central Social Housing Building / OAB + Peñín Architects © Diego Opazo

Model Model

Site Plan Site Plan

Architects: OAB + Peñín Architects
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 24,022 sqm
Photographs: Diego Opazo

The modification of the partial plan chooses two areas from the access to torrent from . Attention to scale, both urban and metropolitan, the Parc Central Social Housing Building reorganizes volumetry and is built on the basis of the ownership structure, proposing a crescent with 4 needles and also a civic center with 3 asymmetrical towers.

The building revolves around an inner courtyard, the common axis of life, and the majority of homes are internal with membranes of thermic regulation. The development of the urban experience, created with the municipality, implies lots of promoters and builders. The city is built through collective effort, respect, and continued negotiation.