Morphosis show Paris tower images



Morphosis, the Los Angeles architectural firm headed by 2005 Pritzker prize-winner Thom Mayne, have sent us images of their competition-winning tower for the La Défense business district in Paris.


The design, called the "Phare" (beacon), was declared the winner of the architectural contest on Friday 24 November. At 300 metres high, the 68-storey tower will be slightly shorted than the 320m Eiffel Tower when it is completed in 2012.

Morphosis show Paris tower images

Morphosis describe the building as a "hybridized tower" rather than a pure office block as it contains public spaces including a 60m-high atrium, gardens, cafes, shops plus an observation deck and sky restaurant. The building's lower levels provide pedestrian links between an underground transport hub and the surrounding area.

Morphosis show Paris tower images

The building contains "sustainable" technologies including a wind farm on the top and a curving facade designed to minimise solar overheating.


"There's a fluidity, a sensuousness, a softness to the form as it reaches to the sky," Mayne says. "Moving around the tower, it appears to shift continually, distinct from different vantage points-not a single image, but a dynamic structure that responds to its site, environment, and performance requirements."


It will be the first architecturally significant new tall building in Paris since the 110m-high La Grande Arche, designed by Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen and completed in 1990.

Posted on Wednesday November 29th 2006 at 5:22 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • CREO

    Why does Paris get all the amazing buildings, while our new ‘icon’ in New York is a total dud. Take that, Freedom Tower!

  • Pedro

    Oh my god. This building is SO disgusting! There is nothing pleasing about it period. I cannot believe…I’m speachless. Disgusting.

  • Stephan

    Finally a really new tall building in Paris, but it is a little tucked away. What the pictures do not show is that there are a lot of tall buildings in front of it when you look from the city center and the interesting open side is at the back ! Nice building, wrong place. I should stand in a spot like the Tour Montparnasse. That would be a statement.

  • Peter

    I think it’s ok, but could be better.

  • Manfred

    Mayne and Morphosis: egad, now they’ve hopped on the sustainable bandwagon just to pawn off their formalism – oh, a couple of windmills slapped on top and a nebulous curvature in the facade to reduce solar gains…..hmmm, no thanks…I’ll stick with my swampland.

  • :) good!!!

  • Allous

    What an amazing tower! I cannot wait to see it in person in 2012. Our federal building (San Francisco) was done by Morphosis and quite cool…
    Great Job!

  • hi

    i dont get it???

  • Dylan

    Fugly. Really hideous. It’s amazing that the French approved such a large project in Paris that is so oppressively ugly. The French are usually much more selective when it comes to large projects.

    And, the new Federal building in SF is equally obnoxious.

  • OP

    When will the Americans ever be done with deconstructivism? Move on!

  • it fits defence..look at the destructive quailities…
    its a building that has gone through a nuclear attack i love it…it shouts…fuck war in its very quiet way…ha ha…

  • Iphie (L)

    I come from France and I live close to La Defense. I think this new tower will be good but it’s so big. I like the idea walk under the tower for left. I think it will be better look when it will be built, and I have confidence in it because all the building in La Defense have a good look.
    Just for information La Defense is not in Paris ! it’s really close to Paris but not inside. You will never see a big tower (like tower from La Defense) in Paris because there are laws who prohibit hight building in Paris.
    And between us I prefer 5 times more Paris than La Defense. There is not charm in La Defense just big center economic, with worker, students, some restaurants and shopping. I like but you can see better! I agree too that when you know a little bit La Defense you know some really good “point de vue”
    That’ all :)
    Welcome to Paris

  • z

    saying the french are selective about large projects implies that you’ve probably never strolled through la defense…

    this building ups the stakes in the nightmare labyrinth that is currently taking a crap at the end of that axis…

  • Dana

    at first glance I hated it. now, 20 ‘glances’ later, I find myself strangely attracted to it. I do believe it is awkward, but that is an aesthetic argument. I’m more interested in seeing how it works and what it does for the people around the area (and the people within). I believe it will be a great building. We’ll have to see as it becomes better developed.



  • ccccccccccooooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllllll

  • hernindya

    very tangible building.u can see the ‘flame’ aura suits to the la will become a new sparks for paris.

  • perhaps

    i sow the video of the tower at night- amazing! The changing of light
    along the skin is unbelivable! Hopefully, it will look like it when it gets
    finished. Crazy! I like its hairstyle too :)))

  • SnowBallCity

    I didn’t get a thought on my first glance.

    During my second glance I thought “An overweight (bottom heavy) nuclear silo”. But then the “branches” coming out of the top remind me of bare trees in the winter. I don’t know, there’s just a tone of “decay” that I sense when I look at it. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

  • felix

    there could be moe humanized buildings around this great part of the city, but it seem no one really care for

  • The second picture makes it look like someone has put a clothe over it and its also got a modern spiked up haircut:) very creative though. It has been mentioned that this is a rival to the Eiffel Tower but I'm not sure whether we can go that far. What do you guys think