Tour Alto will be connected and agile
La Défense was first conceived in the 1960s. However, no one imagined that fifty years later, more than 250,000 people would work there. And that some fifty towers would be constructed around a thirty hectare plaza, the Grande Arche and a circular boulevard full of traffic and tunnels. But nothing seems to stop architects and developers, and after Tour First (inaugurated in 2011) and Hotel Melia (finished in 2015), more new projects are seeing the light of day. As such, Tour Alto, a project from Bouygues Construction, promises to welcome nearly 4,000 workers in its ultra-modern offices equipped with the latest technology.
If equipment and transportation methods have naturally improved over the decades, a bit of reflection on the challenges presented by mobility becomes necessary. How can a population that’s equivalent to a small town in a fifty-story tower live together better?
How should mobility be configured in the building’s interior?
Can the behaviors and habits of new generations be taken into consideration in the development of such a project? As you can see, there are plenty of questions, and for those who use the RER A or Paris Metro Line 1 regularly, the destination of La Défense no longer seems like a dream.
So how to motivate investors and future tenants to move into this new generation of tower?
“I think that with new technologies, we’re going to get a lot of information, whether it’s about people, their movements, their objects, or buildings…and that provides a great opportunity to cross-reference this information (in accordance with the GDRP), specifically to study or improve mobility,” explains Nicolas Séailles, construction engineer at Bouygues Construction in charge of the technical trades at Tour Alto (nearly 500 tradespeople are under his leadership, and are responsible for building the tower).
“It’s not just about the number of square meters of office space, with a ceiling and carpet. People are going to be living here, going to restaurants, using the elevators and going to meet with their colleagues. There will certainly be flex offices and co-working as well as more traditional office space, etc. In designing projects today, we have the means of obtaining even more information on what happens in a building in order to stick as closely as possible to people’s uses and future mobility.“
Taking a closer look at people’s movements
Above all, for those who use a tower’s offices, it’s about anticipating their arrivals and departures, their meetings, their wants and needs as far as food, and welcoming guests for seminars or conferences. But it’s also about optimizing the premises with a single click, thanks to a complex system of sensors which continuously analyze personal data to recognize patterns and use cases. A tower like this must be agile in order for mobility to be optimized.
“Today, in a building, there’s a lot of information scattered all over the place. There’s now a strong desire to create connections and to assemble all the information. Bridges are being built via startups, and one day, this will allow us to move faster and to create more value,” Nicolas, a passionate supporter of technology-embedded buildings, tells us. He further explains that there will be nearly 3,400 Bluetooth sensors equipped with beacons in Tour Alto. They “will be able to put together the first geolocation and information transmission network. We’ve been thinking about this from the beginning of the project, regardless of the data operating system that will be added later. It’s a guarantee that the tower won’t become obsolete for a very long time.“
We also fully understand that the intelligence will come from the correct use of personal data from the tower’s “inhabitants”. An application centralizing all the building’s uses will be available to literally “control” it to their advantage: modularity of the office space, prediction of movement inside, and adaptation to the outside environment. A new way of life is taking shape in the offices of the future at La Défense.