Developers have selected a design by an award-winning American architect for a bold new building nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower — and powered partly by the wind.
Dubbed the Lighthouse, the 984-foot-high skyscraper will be designed by Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne and erected at La Defense, a complex of office towers in a business district west of Paris where many of France’s major corporations are headquartered.
The Unibail development company announced Monday that Mayne, who works for Santa Monica, Calif.-based firm Morphosis, had bested nine other architects to win the bid. His design shows a building curving asymmetrically upward, topped by a crown of spiky antennae.
It’s being billed as a “green” building since the wind turbines on the roof will power the building’s heating and cooling system for a part of the year. A retractable outer layer will reduce the heat from sunlight through the windows in summer.
The building, set for completion in 2012, will be shorter than the 1,062-foot Eiffel Tower, but significantly taller than Paris’ highest office building, the 688-foot Montparnasse Tower.