The Grande Arche de La Défense is a 110-metre high hollow cube, designed by architect Johan Otto von Spreckelsen and completed by Paul Andreu.
The charismatic building appeals at once not only for its modern look but also for its clean and elegant lines. Situated at the end of a route punctuated by historical Parisian landmarks, and which also marks the start of the modern business district, the building benefits from an image at the crossroads of two different eras.
The monument is well-known and recognised the world over. However, 26 years after its initial construction, wear and tear and changing working methods signalled the need for an overhaul.
This led to a renovation project aimed at renewing and improving the building, in full respect for the original design.
Following competitive negotiations for the design-build phase, the French government entrusted Eiffage—in partnership with architects Valode & Pistre—with the work to rehabilitate and enhance the technical efficiency of the building which spans 74,750 m2.
The project cost €192 million and was conducted within the framework of a 20-year lease
Eiffage pooled a broad spectrum of skills drawing on expertise provided by Eiffage Concessions, Goyer, Eiffage Construction Grands Projets, Eiffage Énergie, Eiffage Construction Métallique and Eiffage Énergie Thermie.
Delivered in June 2017, the project required a total of 27 months of work and the mobilisation of up to 700 staff on site at peak periods.
Eiffage Services will provide maintenance for the structural shell and upkeep of the belvedere until 2034.
The upgrade and refurbishment of equipment and workspaces in compliance with current regulations and standards for enhanced energy consumption, comfort and accessibility, were performed within 30 months and pooled several areas of group expertise (Eiffage Construction Grands Projets, Eiffage Énergie and facade specialist Goyer).
The government owns the south-facing facade and the roof and the renovated premises are occupied by the Ministry of Ecology, Energy and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Housing, Territorial Equality and Rural Affairs.
Improvements to the Grande Arche have been certified HQE (high environmental quality) for tertiary building renovations and BBC (high energy efficiency) for renovated buildings.
The marble on the facades and spandrels was replaced with white granite known as “Bethel White”, extracted from a quarry in Vermont, USA. The specific surface treatment it receives ensures the same shade and shine as the original marble.
The distinct layout of the spandrels required the use of special mobile access platforms, fixed to the structure to ensure safety and productivity during replacement work.
The four panoramic lifts whisk the general public up to top, where they can access the viewpoint from the 35th floor.
The new roof structure of the Grande Arche features a 110-metre long and 10-metre wide walkway that affords a 360° view over Greater Paris.
At the top of the Grande Arche, City One holds a commercial lease for a 50-seat gastronomic bistro, a fast-food/snack stand, a 1,400m2 cultural space dedicated to photojournalism and three 150-seat auditoriums equipped with interpreting booths.
Presentation of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) method used for the partial renovation of the Grande Arche de la Défense.