1st december 2022


Hekla, Paris-La Défense, France

A Rose Bursting Out


The Rose de Cherbourg site, on its particular scale of constructibility allowing for a roughly 220-metre-high tower, will be a notable entry in the panorama and skyline of La Défense seen from the axe historique. Thanks to its high-visibility architecture, it will be able to balance the current composition, which is characterised by a multitude of very high towers to the north of the axis and a lower profile to the south of the same axis.


The profile of this new milestone and the way it will be read against the light are currently being studied in terms of context. The design of the new building will greatly depend on the shape of the available building plot, which is a triangle.


Total remodelling of the site, preservation of the Rose de Cherbourg interchange, and its landscaping call for us to consider all the viewing angles – from the historic axis, from Puteaux, and especially from the avenue du Général de Gaulle – as well as to create transitions with the neighbouring buildings. This strategic research needs to make all points of access to the different elements of the program as clear as possible.


Our initial work supports the option of a prismatic structure, with a tower whose features are differentiated over its three sides and over its three corners. The top floors of the Rose de Cherbourg should allow us to create a crown that’s in contrast to most of the neighbouring buildings, which are orthogonal or parallelepedal, and that has a horizontal transition with the sky. The student-housing tower will enter into a conversation with the Rose de Cherbourg office tower through mutually alluring contrasts: glass/metal, transparency/mass, shiny surfaces/matt surfaces.


The aim is to enrich the sharpness and refinement of the different skylines of La Défense through an appropriate complementarity: through bursts of character.




Jean Nouvel