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Meliá Hotel, La Défense, Paris

The Méliá Hotel’s smooth, glazed surface faces the historical Place de l’Etoile - Porte Maillot - La Défense Grande Arche axis. The Spanish Meliá Group designed the new four-star structure as its flagship hotel in France.

The “knife blade” shaped building plays on contrasting materials: glass on the southern esplanade-side facade and metallic shot-peened panels on the boulevard side. The fluid, curved southern facade ends in a prow with a tilted overhanging edge projecting towards Paris.

A hotel built on virtually invisible land

Built like a bridge spanning several tunnels, the design called for ingenious solutions on the part of VINCI Construction. Located on the spot where a ventilation plant for the A14 motorway previously stood, the 1,600 sq. metre land take is hemmed in by the circular boulevard, the La Défense esplanade and a car park exit. The building straddles two tunnels, a car park exit and a ventilation shaft like a bridge. It rests on special foundations built across the Défense 2 car park between the various tunnels.

The 25-level high-rise received a SIMI 2015 Grand Prize.