Phare Tower, France

Morphosis won the International Competition for the design of the “Phare” Tower (Lighthouse), the centerpiece of redevelopment in the business district, La Défense, just outside of Paris. Mayne beat out the likes of Norman Foster and Rem Koolhaas to win the competition. Its expected completion date is 2012…


“There’s a fluidity, a sensuousness, a softness to the form as it reaches to the sky,” he said, describing the asymmetric twist of the building, which swells out over an elevated lobby in the lower portion before tapering off to a thicket of wind turbines on the roof. Mayne says it will be “a prototype for a green building” with a wind farm generating its own heating and cooling for five months of the year and a movable “double skin” to cut the heat from direct sunlight through the windows.

“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.” Thom Mayne, Morphosis Design Director.

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