It was like that moment when eyes meet across a crowded room and you know destiny awaits.
OK, it wasn’t quite like that, but it was close. Rising up from the depths of the underworld (the Paris metro) into an arena surrounded but tall buildings, my eyes fell upon and began to behold Tour EDF, Paris.
Tour EDF is an office skyscraper located in La Défense, the high-rise business district west of Paris, France.
The tower was built for Électricité de France (EDF), France’s main electricity company, and hosts the company’s offices. Tour EDF is 165 m (541 ft) tall, the tallest skyscraper built in La Défense since the year 2000. Its ground shape is elliptical, with a maximum length of 70 m (230 feet) and a maximum width of 32 m (105 feet).
The building’s most striking characteristic consists in the extrusion of a conic section of the tower on its northern edge. The resulting conic hole extends from the ground floor to the 26th floor and serves as the main entrance to the tower, an entrance built under a wide circular canopy 24 m (79 feet) in diameter. As a consequence, the length of the tower is slightly less at its base than at its top.
The cladding of the tower alternates horizontal stripes of plain steel and tinted windows.
Back to the story…
…my eyes fell upon and began to behold Tour EDF, Paris. From the moment I laid my eyes upon her striking beauty I knew this was a building (yes we are talking about a building here) I wanted to photograph.
I took my time though, almost playfully ignoring her as I skirted the arena looking for beauty elsewhere, and there was plenty of it. The La Défense, the high-rise business district of Paris is home to many stunning high-rise buildings where the architects have had the courage to push past the boring square tower block. OK, we have some great buildings in London, but it feels like we are playing catch-up with the rest of Europe in building beautiful skyscrapers.
Having wandered away, I turned back to give this beauty the attention she deserved. Approaching from the west and moving across her northern face. This put the light behind her and slightly to her left, allowing me to capture the sky reflected on her vast body. The reflective glass and stainless steel panels allow this building to feel almost ethereal as it reflects and disappears into the sky above.
Moving to be directly face on to her northern edge I was able to capture the perfect symmetry that appears like a knife edge about to slice open the sky above.
Unfortunately for ‘Tour EDF’ our love affair ended. I was captivated by another beauty at La Défense, but more on that another time.
Tour EDF, Paris
- Use: Offices
- Construction began : 1997
- Completed: 2001
- Floors: 41
- Area: 57,000 sq.m
- Architect: Pel Cobb Freed & Partners