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Tour F - Air Base 117

LOCATION : Paris, France
PROGRAMME : Commercial and residential Rehabilitation of Tower F. High-rise 62 m in height comprising 18 floors and 30,000 m²
AREA : 32,305 m² including 9,495 m² of office space and 735 studios - IGH R+18 Height: 62 m
CLIENT : Air Army, Central Directorate Infrastructure of Air
PROJECT MANAGEMENT : Commissioned architect: AIA Associés with F. Hammoutène Engineering - TCE: AIA Ingénierie Economist: Tohier
DESIGN : Competition 2003
DELIVERY : 2012
COST : €97.7 million excluding taxes
Worn, asbestos-littered, badly insulated and dated, this 62 m high building with 17 floors, constructed in the 1970s, was in need of renovation. This was what the Ministry of Defence wanted. Rebuilt, Tower F extends its ambitions beyond functional and hygience requirements, to the level of the debate over mixed-use high-rises in Paris. The development of the ring road and the urbanisation outside of Paris in Issy-les-Moulineaux, position Tower F as a signal lighthouse, an open "gate". Setting the scene for its new vocation, the structure of the tower itself is highlighted to better show it off. This sculptural work focused on two main tasks: the development of the base of the tower on the one part, and the slenderness of its top on the other. The new areas created at the base of Tower F allowed the height to be reduced, thus redrawing and refining its silhouette. 
These tasks also formed part of the layout of the mixed-use programme: the offices are located at the bottom, and accommodation at its top. The sculptural approach continued on the façades, with the building's "skin" now covered with a stainless steel mesh inspired by a veil, which leaves you guessing all while revealing the form beneath. This veil acts as a sun-screen, protecting the rooms of the apartments located on the west side, all while framing the views from afar.
Tower F showcases the amazing potential of regenerating a city through its high-rises. So long decried at the end of the 20th century, high-rise towers, now re-visited and re-integrated into the continuity of a city re-inventing its future, know how to adapt to new user expectations as well as the need for meaning which architecture, by playing with scales and envelopes, gives to a city and its neighbourhoods. 
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