The hub of construction activity in La Défense at the edge of Paris is a scene most urban-minded individuals would love to see replicated in their hometowns. And as tower cranes dot the growing skyline, there's further evidence of work moving forward at the site of a future 39-storey office tower that will house the headquarters of French multinational corporation Saint-Gobain. In the months since our last photo update, crews have made significant progress on the demolition of the eight-level Tour Iris office complex, a necessary step to accommodate its modern glass successor.

Tour Saint-Gobain, image via Valode & Pistre Architects

Italian insurance company Generali Group and global property developer Hines are backing Tour Saint-Gobain, with Valode & Pistre Architects designing the 178-metre-tall tower. With 48,600 square metres of office space, the development will become a palpable showpiece of the Saint-Gobain brand.

Tour Iris comes down, image by Forum contributor Vincent !

The project is infused with a number of top-notch amenities, including a 400-square-metre showroom and 380 square metres set aside for ground-level retailers. The tower's offset canted crown shelters a huge sky garden that effectively serves as the climax to a skyscraper that boasts impressive manicured green spaces on every floor. In an ode to Saint-Gobain's commitment to environmental sustainability, the building has been designed to attain LEED Platinum certification.

Ground works progress, image by Forum contributor Vincent !

When the anticipated completion date arrives in 2019, it would mark stability for an embattled site that once entertained a proposal for the European Union's tallest building. The 265-metre Tour Generali was unveiled in 2006 and would have greatly assisted in the ongoing modernization of La Défense through its innovative environmental features, which included solar panels and wind turbines. The project was eventually killed in 2011, giving way to the current design now steadily being realized. 

The disassembling of Tour Iris continues, image by Forum contributor Vincent !

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Related Companies:  Hines