Image: Phare
This artist rendition provided by property group Unibail shows the future skyscraper "Phare" (Lighthouse) designed by American architect Thom Mayne and which is due to be completed in 2012 in Paris business suburb La Defense. The curving tower rivals the Eiffel Tower in height and will include wind farm generating its own heating.
updated 11/29/2006 3:33:09 AM ET 2006-11-29T08:33:09

PARIS — Developers have selected a design by an award-winning American architect for a bold new building nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower — and powered partly by the wind.

Dubbed the Lighthouse, the 984-foot-high skyscraper will be designed by Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne and erected at La Defense, a complex of office towers in a business district west of Paris where many of France’s major corporations are headquartered.

The Unibail development company announced Monday that Mayne, who works for Santa Monica, Calif.-based firm Morphosis, had bested nine other architects to win the bid. His design shows a building curving asymmetrically upward, topped by a crown of spiky antennae.

It’s being billed as a “green” building since the wind turbines on the roof will power the building’s heating and cooling system for a part of the year. A retractable outer layer will reduce the heat from sunlight through the windows in summer.

The building, set for completion in 2012, will be shorter than the 1,062-foot Eiffel Tower, but significantly taller than Paris’ highest office building, the 688-foot Montparnasse Tower.

French media reports said the project will cost upwards of $1 billion.

An earlier version of this report included an incorrect estimate of the project's cost.


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