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Horizontal tower
Escaping the constraints of a high-rise building
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Horizontal tower
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Horizontal tower

Nanterre, France



Offices, housing, shops


116,000 sqm

Cost of the work


Contracting authority




Escaping the constraints of a high-rise building

Within the scope of the La Défense Seine-Arche extension project, a 115,000 square metre mixed use programme comprising offices, housing and facilities will be built on a plot covering an area of one and a half hectares positioned
between the Terrasses de l’Arche, the future Arena stadium in Nanterre and the railway lines programmed to be covered
over in the long term. The density authorised by a plot ratio greater than seven made it plausible to build a high rise
block.However, the scheme developed by the Agence d’Architecture Anthony Bechu escapes from the constraints imposed by high rise buildings by recommending a “horizontal tower block”, a solution offering a better layout, orientation and distribution of the various programmatic components. Much in the same manner as a cell tissue,
the alveolar composition organises seven vertical courtyards. These, while generously aerating the vast monolith, also considerably increase the glazed surfaces
and thus the amount of daylight entering the building as well as its natural ventilation. Furthermore, this organic solution simultaneously places housing and offices at a respectful distance from one another (up to 30 metres), differentiates the number of levels within a same volume (ten floors in the residential sector as opposed to eight in the business sector) and, as aresult, their respective façades. The ground floor is occupied by shops and business
premises while the services shared by the occupying companies are located on the garden level.


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Horizontal tower

Boulevard des Bouvets, avenue Aimé Césaire,
92000 Nanterre