Phare Tower

Morphosis's Phare (Lighthouse) Tower is to go up in La Défense, France. Thom Mayne, the Design Director, describes the future landmark building as follows: "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." A 60-m high public space will occupy the ground floor, and gardens, cafés, and shops, and an observation deck and sky restaurant will be open to the public. The building will be connected to the CNIT (National inter-university consortium for telecommunications). The Phare Tower will employ sustainable, performance-driven design. The shape and the orientation of the building respond to the path of the sun; the south facade's double skin minimizes heat gain and glare, while the flat, clear-glazed north facade maximizes interior exposure to natural daylight. A double skin constantly maximizes energy efficiency. The increased daylight and natural ventilation combine to create exceptional comfort for the users. A visually distinctive wind farm crowns the tower and provides clean, alternative energy to power the fans that activate the building's natural ventilation system. This fully self-sufficient system will cool the building for half of the year without using any outside energy sources or supplemental heating or cooling. The wind turbines harvest energy and symbolize the designers' commitment to the environment. The building will have a total floor area of 175 000 m2 . It will be built by Unibail and is expected to be completed in 2012.