Contact Us
1000 characters left

Call Us At: (206) 660-4723

Add files


Barthélémy Griño Architectes


Route de Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau, France

Project Year



Hélène Binet

Structural Engineering

T/E/S/S, Paris

Mechanical Engineering

MTC, La-Varenne-Saint-Hilaire

Lighting Consultant

8’18’’, Paris

General Contractor

Rabot Dutilleul Construction, Paris

Prefabricated Concrete Contractor

Techni Prefa, Sainte-Radegonde
© Hélène Binet

From the architect. Sited on the campus of the Ecole Polytechnique, the radar tower is one of the first project for the large-scale science cluster on Saclay plateau. Over 60m high, the tower provides a reliable air traffic control on the approach to Paris Orly Airport. Rising above trees, the tower is a landmark indicating and orientating this new area of development. It is a 13.9 m diameter cylindrical trunk, housing all the required technical equipment. The only protrusion is the radome at the top. 


This simplicity of form is reinforced by the choice of only one material, light grey, high quality prefabricated concrete. The tower will be seen against the sky: in order that light may shine through it, the structural wall is perforated. Each level is made of 28 concrete posts, arranged regularly. These posts are trapezoidal, with important variations in width on their back face. High of 4.84m, they are set into annular beams at their head and base, forming 12 superimposed sections. Each section is offset by a half-grid rotation, breaking vertical continuity. The porosity of the trunk, the alternately arranged posts, their multiple faces, go to form a sort of kaleidoscope beneath the changing light. The internal volume is open to the air, interrupted only by the lightweight steel structure of the stairwell and lift shaft. Behind its formal simplicity, this construction boasts a complex structural functionality, particularly in the face of wind. The porosity of the trunk meant that wind tunnel testing was necessary. 

© Hélène Binet

The tower’s stability is obtained using the principles of a Vierendeel truss system with posts embedded into beams. This assembly repeated 666 times constitutes a real technical challenge because of the multiple difficulties that it imposes: securing the parts together at altitude, precision adjustment, substantial and complex loading, the density and geometric variation of the sections. This key point was solved with the use of specific concrete connections (Peikko system). 

© Hélène Binet
© Hélène Binet

Original Source

Case Studies

Red Mountain Cab…

Stories.FrontPage.CaseStudies.redmountain.elevate Factsheet1nsp 1068

 Winter Cabins: Proposed project located at Canada's Red Mountain ski resort. A variety of luxury premanufactured w...

Read more

Simeon Condomini…

Stories.FrontPage.CaseStudies.Simeon.int31nsp 1068

Condominium Project: Proposed project in Texas, pre-construction architectural visualization created for marketing purp...

Read more

Talus Corporate …

Stories.FrontPage.CaseStudies.talus Campusnsp 1068

Corporate Campus: Proposed project in the Pacific northwest, pre-construction architectural visualization created for m...

Read more

Lone Peak Corpor…

Stories.FrontPage.CaseStudies.lone Peak Int1nsp 1068

Corporate Office Center: Proposed project in Utah, pre-construction architectural visualization created for marketing p...

Read more

Promotional Dair…

Stories.FrontPage.CaseStudies.j3group.interior 02 Tnfpnsp 1068

Promotional Dairy Trailer: Proposed promotional project for marketing company designing a traveling trailer for the Tex...

Read more

Retail Project Nrthgatensp 1068

Retail Project: Used by the architectural firm and the corporate development manager, the 3D modeling and rendering pr...

Read more

Mixed Use Projec…

Stories.FrontPage.CaseStudies.elliotnsp 1068

Mixed Use Project: An architectural firm used the 3d modeling and rendering process as a design study for a mixed...

Read more

Mixed Use Lobby …

Stories.FrontPage.CaseStudies.paccarnsp 1068

Mixed Use Lobby Project: A developer with plans for a mixed use project consisting of a retail podium and two towers, on...

Read more

Condominium Arch…

Stories.FrontPage.CaseStudies.HighlandHouse.HH2007comp1smlnsp 1068

Highland House Condominium Project: An old apartment building purchased and scheduled for a major renovation and ...

Read more

Design Studies

eVolo Skyscraper…

Stories.FrontPage.DesignStudies.evoloss2014.0802 1tnnsp 1076

eVolo skyscraper competition was held in 2014 with over a hundred entries from firms/studios from around the world.&nb...

Read more

Seattle Center U…

Stories.FrontPage.DesignStudies.uitnnsp 1076

Seattle Center's 'Urban Intervention' competition was held in 2012 with over a hundred entries from studios in 24 diff...

Read more

Re-Creation of T…

Stories.FrontPage.DesignStudies.thorncrown.extclrtest Tnfpnsp 1076

Thorncrown Chapel Design Study: The purpose of this design study was to recreate 100% digitally the 'essence' of a favor...

Read more

NPR - Non-photor…

Stories.FrontPage.DesignStudies.rtelev2bclrwiggle Tnnsp 1076

Non-photorealistic (NPR) renderings can provide and economical solution for initial design phases. At times you d...

Read more

Schematic to Com…

Downloaded.transformnsp 1076

There are ways to combine schematic design type graphics with finished renderings to create unique presentation graph...

Read more