Tallest office building in France now open

June 20, 2011 |

The tallest office building in France—Tour FIRST—has opened in Paris, adding a new landmark to the city’s skyline. Architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates designed the 231-meter building, which is located near the Neuilly Bridge. AXA Real Estate IM, Beacon Capital Partners and ALTAREA-COGEDIM also developed the project.

Originally built in the 1970s, the building was refurbished to retain the integrity of the design while also presenting a modern interpretation to improve environmental performance. It is the largest fully HQE certified office tower in the country.

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Inauguration of Tour FIRST, Paris's Tallest Building

?Designed by International Architecture Firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

International architecture firm, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) 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 Paris skyline.

Developed by AXA Real Estate IM, Beacon Capital Partners and ALTAREA-COGEDIM, Tour FIRST, at 231 meters, is the tallest building in Paris and the tallest office building in France. ? ?Tour FIRST exemplifies KPF’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, KPF 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, KPF 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 Paris 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 France.? ?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 KPF’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.? ?About KPF:?Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is one of the world’s pre-eminent architecture firms, providing architecture, interior, programming and master planning services for clients in both the public and private sectors.

Operating as one firm with six global offices, KPF is led by 20 Principals and 14 Directors. The firm’s 500 staff members come from 43 different countries, speak more than 30 languages, and include over 70 LEED accredited professionals. KPF’s diverse portfolio, which features over 70 projects certified or pursuing green building certification, comprises corporate, hospitality, academic, medical, research, civic, transportation, residential, and mixed-use projects located in more than 35 countries. ? 

?The firm’s recent work includes the Abu Dhabi International Airport, the Shanghai World Financial Center, the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong, New Songdo City in Korea, the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, the RBC Centre and Ritz- Carlton in Toronto, and The Pinnacle, Heron Tower and Unilever House in London.

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