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Second generation buildings


Second generation buildings were constructed in the first half of the 1970s. Especilly in 1974 many buildings were finished.

In the late sixties demand for office space was growing and EPAD was granted permission to double the surface of La Défense. A total office space of 1.5 mln square meters was to be created. Therefore buildings had increased base dimensions and they were allowed to become taller (up to 200m). In the 1970s the tallest buildings in La Défense emerged, like Tour Gan and Tour Fiat (nowadays Framatome).

From left to right: Manhattan, Gan, Framatome (Fiat), Ariane (Générale).

Design of the office buildings is different from first generation buildings.
Générale (nowadays Ariane) and Framatome still have a boxy look, but the cladding is quite different from first generation buildings. Tour Framatome looks like a giant black monolith.
Tour Manhattan - with it's curved sides - Tour Assur (nowadays Axa) and Tour Gan - of which the base and floors resemble a giant Greek Cross - are not just plain boxes anymore.

Residential buildings also grew bigger, for instance Défense 2000 with its 47 storeys.
In the Parc District some Cloud Towers (Tours Nuages) rose to more than 100m.

The oil crisis of 1973 became a turning point in La Defense's history. The economy turned down and as a result office buildings couldn't be rented and stayed empty. From 1974 to 1978 La Defense had a crisis and only with government help it could survive.

The table below contains all buildings of 10 floors and more. Office as well as residential buildings. Between brackets are the old names.

name year type floors height
Axa (Assur) 1974 office 39 159m
Défense 2000 1974 residential 46 137m
Eve 1974 mixed 30 109m
Framatome (Fiat) 1974 office 46 184m
Gan 1974 office 44 179m
Les Dauphins 1974 residential 16 -
Résidence Leclerc 1974 residential 18 -
Ariane (Générale) 1975 office 36 152m
Gambetta 1975 residential 37 104m
La Sirène 1975 residential 17 -
Manhattan 1975 office 32 110m
AGF Neptune 1975 office 27 113m
Damiers d'Anjou 1976 residential 12 -
Damiers de Bretagne 1976 residential 12 -
Damiers du Dauphiné 1976 residential 23 -
Damiers de Champagne 1978 residential 18 -

Information sources:
- "La Défense, itineraries" (1989, EPAD)
- "La Défense, guide to the architecture" (1996, EPAD)