Crafted by the Pritzker prize-winning Jean Nouvel, the HEKLA Tower is set to become the tallest building in Paris’s La Defense District. Described as a ‘flamboyant’ addition to the city skyline by Nouvel himself, the skyscraper’s unique, sculpted façade is one born of aesthetics and functionality, providing a colorful, molded contrast to the surrounding buildings, while also contributing to greater efficiency and comfort inside the structure.
The tower is currently under construction and expected to stand 48-stories and 220 meters tall upon completion, eclipsing the Tour First in terms of height. It will contain nearly 76,000 square meters of floor area, which will be occupied by offices, services, lobbies, amphitheater, projection rooms, performance halls, restaurants, bars, gyms and loggias. The roof, meanwhile will feature a landscaped head with generous, panoramic views of the city.
The goal, as stated by Nouvel, is to provide a unique occupant experience with vast flexible workspaces that also help promote human interaction and wellbeing.
“I imagined a prismatic composition which multiplies the polychrome sun-screens – amber, silver and blue – and mingles glass and metal, brightness and shade, mass effects and transparency,” said Nouvel.
Triangular, Glass Panels Excel in Aesthetics and Functionality
The angular appearance of HEKLA is one of aesthetic beauty and clever functionality. Triangular panes of glass give the building its striking silhouette, but also help deflect sunlight and shade the interior spaces, reducing solar heat gain throughout the building. However, the windows are not the only element of the building that has garnered much attention.
The struts that help make up the massive panels are comprised of colored aluminum, selected by Ateliers Jean Nouvel from Sandalor, specifically designed for architectural use. Each finish is designed to withstand outdoor weathering, light exposure, water and corrosion with high durability leading to minimal maintenance and cleaning costs throughout its lifetime. The vibrant hues help further define the shape of each façade element while contributing to the character of the building envelope.