Ventilation chimney

La Défense - France

The new buildings at the heart of La Défence are constructed in front of the ventilation shaft of the underground circulations.

The enormous concrete cylinder, 16 meters high, was considered quite unsightly and had to be transformed.

The project involved covering it with vegetation.

Morning glories were planted in copper planters that are filled with garden stakes, transforming the entire shaft into a floral display.

The project is alive and evolving with the seasons.


The morning glories are a very wide-ranging plant group, including a plant called bindweed. It is characterized by extremely rapid vine growth and impressive blooms. Their flowers span the whole range of colors. The most beautiful of the morning glory is nocturnal, its flowers opening only at night.


The copper will patina from red-orange to green.

The morning glories are planted annually during the autumn in the "creases" of the copper, fully flourishing during spring-summer period.

The presence of the vegetation contrasts with the smoothness of the glass and concrete towers. This floral cascade creates a kind of special event on the Esplanade.

PROGRAM Embellishment of the EPAD ventilation chimney in the heart of Paris’s business district, la Défense


CLIENT EPAD Team Maison Edouard François, Patrick Blanc (LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT)


BUDGET 300 000 € Schedule Competition 2002, Delivery 2004

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Commune de Courbevoie

92000 La Défense