Radar Tower / Barthélémy Griño Architectes

”Ivory Tower” on campus

Project Specs


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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.

001-Radar Tower by Barthelemy Grino Architectes


It is a 13.8 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.

▽ 光线透过多孔的结构,light shine through the perforated structure

002-Radar Tower by Barthelemy Grino Architectes

003-Radar Tower by Barthelemy Grino Architectes


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.

▽ 平面,plans



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. The tower’s stability is obtained using the principles of a Vierendeel truss system with posts embedded into beams.

▽ 立柱嵌入横梁之中以保证雷达塔的稳定性,posts embedded into beams in order to obtain the tower’s stability

004-Radar Tower by Barthelemy Grino Architectes     Présentation1


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).

▽ 施工过程,under construction

005-Radar Tower by Barthelemy Grino Architectes

▽ 特殊的混凝土横梁安装,specific concrete beam assembly


▽ 细部,detail drawing


Client – Direction des Services de la Navigation Aérienne, Paris
Architects – Barthélémy Griño Architectes Sas, Paris
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

Drawings: Barthélémy Griño Architectes
English Text: Barthélémy Griño Architectes
Chinese Text: gooood

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