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Credit Agricole Assurances Look To New HQ

The high-rise renaissance of Paris continues with plans by Jean Paul Viguier who has designed a new building for French financial firm, Credit Agricole Assurances.

Set to stand near the banks of the River Seine and serve as a gateway to the Issy-Les-Moulineaux bridge, the 180 metre tall 43-storey IMEFA 52 building will contain 60,138 square metres of office space as the new headquarters for its banking tenant who held an international design competition.

The concept of the skyscraper is partly to create an office block with regular and efficient floor plates, the sort that is found in La Defense. The volumes of the building have been arranged in such a way as to present a deceptively slender looking building when approaching from the bridge that has its broad floorplates concealed by tricks of geometry.

Bioclimatic approaches that allow for the creation of a series of recessed skygardens and the circulation of natural air have been adapted internally. The skygarden is taken to an extreme where the upper sections of the building steps back on two sides to such an extent that there will be enough space to plant mature trees. Topping the service levels will be five wind turbines.

Previously hostile to tall buildings outside La Defense, the scheme is the latest in a flurry of skyscrapers that the French capital has seen in recent years, perhaps as a response to the growing number of skyscrapers in London and a fear that Paris without them will be unable to compete.

If the project gets approved, and it will have a fight on its hands due to the sensitive location, it's hoped that construction can start on site by 2014, with the development programme expected to take about three years to completion.
IMEFA 52, Paris
IMEFA 52, Paris