Situated just west of Paris, La Défense is Europe's largest business district with 3.5 million square metres of office space. Founded in the late 1950s with the construction of the architecturally striking CNIT, an exhibition centre dedicated to the French industry, the neighbourhood rapidly developed around its notorious 30-hectare pedestrian-only esplanade. Today, approximately 10,000 people live around the concrete pad, which sits mostly empty after the region's 180,000 office workers vacate the area each day. To remediate to the lack of housing in the precinct, developer Nexity Residential is currently building a residential-only edifice, marketed as Skylight, a first for La Défense in more than 30 years.

General view of Skylight, image via Louis Paillard Architectes

Located in the immediate vicinity of La Défense's Grande Arche, Skylight will consist of an 18-storey tower standing 76 metres above ground level. Part of a broader scheme known as Les Jardins de l'Arche — The Gardens of the Arch — that aims to revitalize the 8-hectare area west of the monument with a mix of residential, office, cultural, and entertainment spaces, Skylight will offer a mix of student and private housing. Indeed, floors one through nine will boast 168 rooms catering to the students of the nearby Paris West University Nanterre La Défense. Above, from floors 10 through 18, will be 113 private residences consisting of studios and one-bedroom units.

The facade of Skylight will boast perforated metal panels, image via Louis Paillard Architectes

Architecturally, the Louis Paillard Architectes-designed tower will rest upon a series of tilted columns, allowing for the creation of more public space at its base. The facade will be covered in highly reflective perforated metal panels, whose irregular positioning will result in a variety of impressions from the surrounding urban landscape. Finally, at night, the top of the building will be animated by a dynamic and coloured light show matching the theme of future events unfolding throughout new nearby public spaces.

Skylight, as of March 6, 2016, image by Forum contributor Vincent !

The first residents are expected to move in by the third quarter of 2017. In the meantime, additional images and information about the project can be found in the Database file linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion or share your photos? Check out the associated Forum thread — where more construction photos are available — or leave a comment at the bottom of this page. 

Related Companies:  Louis Paillard Architectes, Nexity Residential