Issy-les-Moulineaux, Face Tower (‘Tour aux Figures’)

Issy-les-Moulineaux, Face Tower (‘Tour aux Figures’),

The Face Tower or ‘Tour aux figures’ sits in the ‘Ile Saint-Germain’ park: a 24-meter long, 12-meter wide work from Jean Dubuffet, it is visible from afar and has become a must-see landmark. In 2015, the ‘Hauts-de-Seine’ district launched a restoration campaign to give the tower its original colors back.

The work offers the beholder two experiences: its monumentality, revealed by exterior lighting through a homogeneous, soft draping, framed to address all the new demands regarding light pollution. The white color tone of light that was chosen with a balanced spectrum intensifies the whites, while respecting the balance in nuances of crimson red and blues that ornate the complex reliefs.

Inside, the lucky few who climb on and enter the four sinuous stories of the structure can experience a radically different immersion: a cavernous and organic world, colorless, with purely geometric black lines, without any horizontal or vertical point of reference. Very thin, waterproof and very robust linear fixtures illuminate the relief, sometimes hidden in cavities, sometimes running along the curves on the ground or climbing on the irregular flights of stairs. A minimalist, comfortable punctuation that knows when to disappear from view.


Lighting design: Concepto
Project management: Pierre-Antoine Gatier Heritage Architecture Agency
Contracting owner: Hauts de Seine District
Completion: 2020

Photo credit: Concepto