Project Paris, France


A strong builder for an elegant tower

Sector: Buildings

Despite the difficult conditions for a building of this size, the challenge has been met and the deadlines adhered to. We report on an ambitious project, which has kept all its promises.

Elegant lines...

DEXIA Tower captures the eye with its pure, discreet line, elegant shape and extravagant façade. The building has 32 above ground floors and four basement levels. But what are its dominant features? On the first five floors, we find the entrance hall, a restaurant, snack bar, the kitchen and the shared services. Then, above the fifth floor, twenty-six meters above the ground, a large 2.20 meter thick transfer slab. This slab rests on eighteen 1.40-meter diameter columns, a triangular concrete pile and the core of the building, serving to distribute the weight of the upper part / rest of the building. The next twenty-six floors will provide 44,000 m2 of office space. There are four basement levels: three for the technical installations and one for a small car parking. Up to the fifth floor marble and granite dominate, above that a green glass façade that decorates the upper floors. Architectural choices that undoubtedly make the DEXIA tower one of the most elegant buildings on the «La Défense» landscape.


The difficulties of the project were very clear from the outset. The first problem was the narrowness of the site, squeezed between the many existing tower blocks and the boulevard périphérique. The building covers an area of 1,700 m2 footprint, and the team only had a working area of 2,500 m2. To make up for this lack of space, we rented a site at the former railway depots at Nanterre, three kilometers away. The team worked at a pace of one floor per week that is 27 weeks for the rest of the construction. Also, an overhead walkway linking two zones of the “La Défense” site was taken down for safety reasons during the building period and put back afterwards.

Safety : an essential item

The traffic on the “boulevard périphérique” of “La Défense” is pretty much like on a motorway. Safety was therefore a key item and every precaution had to be taken. “When we started on the upper floors, we designed a four meter high protective screen right round the building, which moved up with it. In this way our hundred and fifty workers felt they were in a protected environment, out of the wind, and unable to see what was going on below”, Carlo Schreurs, Area Manager and Project Manager for the DEXIA Tower told us.

Concluding remarks

This is a reference project for BESIX. Building an edifice of such structural elegance in particularly difficult conditions called for very strict day-to-day organization by the site team. The success of this project embodies not only the quality of our work and our professionalism, but also witnesses to the effective collaboration of everyone who played an active part - architects, engineers, the customer, the project manager and the workers - in building the tower.

Project details

Project name



Offices, High Rise

Contract type



Paris, France


BESIX France



Building Period

2002 - 2005


Kohn Pedersen Fox & Associates, USA and SRA Architects

Total value

€ 105 million



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