"I see you – You see me"
In today's Paris skyline, there is only one icon that reaches 300 meters: "Madame Eiffel".
Creating a second one is intimidating. But it is a fabulous opportunity to put Paris and its region back on the map of places that are inventing the urban world.
Public welfare depends upon it.
To this end, the new icon obviously must aim at being just as illustrious as its friend. A tall order!
Timid architects, stay away! It is not a time to stop thinking and propose yet another dull office tower!
Eiffel spoke about the industrial revolution of the 19th century, about steel, and spidery structures conquering the sky.
We speak about the visual revolution of the 21st century – the mythology of seductive images, instantaneous digital pictures, which inform and fascinate us.
The Eiffel Tower has a stiff little head; the Phare tower has a big turning head.
One does not quite understand that the little black form at the top of Madame Eiffel is her head. As for the large head of the Phare tower, it turns on itself to better watch us, and also to be seen.
Peeping Tom, exhibitionist!
It is a well-known conceptual game : "I see you - you see me".
Image Tower/ turning images/ image magic/ flashes/ surprises/ impressions/ images on images/ fleeting images/ appearance / disappearance/ images of Ile de France, images over Paris/ images of life here and now, of what is going
on, what is happening right here.
A revolutionary tower/ revolving/ a small world turning imperceptibly/ a nano planet... turning.
A popular and poetic connotation: a head turning on a body – is it humanoid? A robot?
Nano planet: a hidden microcosm to discover? A microclimate turning above Paris and the Ile de France.
Slow, silent revolutions flying above us.
The Phare Tower can become just as familiar as Madame Eiffel, especially if we consider its political character:
It clearly states an ambition to address the whole city.
It symbolizes the extension of Paris beyond its traditional borders.
It speaks to everyone, of their lives, of the beauty of Paris and the Ile de France.
It strengthens the map of western Paris, anchoring the urban territory stretching from Courbevoie to Puteaux to Nanterre, Levallois and Neuilly...
It clearly expresses that La Defense is undergoing change and will become an appealing center by day and by night.
It also says that our capital city continues to be a land of modernity, and that its brand of modernity is very different from the mute and athletic brutality characterizing new monuments in other world cities of the 21st Century.
- Status: Unbuilt
- Location: La Défense
- Dates: Competition: June / November 2006
- Client: UNIBAIL
- Contract type: Architectural commission
Offices (115 000 m2 shon)
Restaurants between firms
- Usable Floor Area: Shon 145 000 m2
- Adviser at Jean Nouvel: Hubert Tonka, Olivier Boissière
- Architectural creation department: David Fagart, Toshihiro Kubota
- Project manager: Eric Stephany
- Architects: Paul Emmanuel Loiret, Sylvie Erard, Alain Gvozdenovic, Pedro Dinis Rodrigues, Arnaud Brichet, Kiyomi Suzuki
- Internships: Ute Rinnebach, Anne Mikoleit, Mathilde Bardel, Sonia Diez, Constanza Jorquera
- Graphics: Natalie Saccu de Franchi, Rafaelle Ishkinazi , Elise Taponier
- Landscape: Rémy Turquin
- Computer graphics: Jean Angelini, Mizuho Kishi, Manal Rachdi
- Mock-ups: Jean-Louis Courtois, Jean-Marc Kurczewski
- Film: Odile Fillion, Pierre Nouvel, Valère Terrier
Artistic interventions: Alain Fleischer, Marie Maillard
- Structure, Facades: Arup, Paul Nuttall
- Fluids: OTHEM, Pascal Wiecheteck
- Thermics: Transsolar, Matthias Schuler
- Structure: Jean Marc Casso
- Lift: Kone