Pierre Dufau is one of the major architects of the Trente Glorieuses. He is considered a true theoretician of office buildings, of which the Blue Diamond is a fine example.
The Blue Diamond is an office building designed in 1974; it is to accommodate the new headquarters of the Louis Dreyfus bank (see Louis Dreyfus bank). The project will generate a lot of ink and meet with a real outcry. First, the site is emblematic: the bottom of Avenue de la Grande Armée, in front of Porte Maillot. Above all, Dufau and his teams imagined facades in blue mirrors… sacrilege!
The architects of the city then had as a “theory” that the color of the street lamps and street furniture being brown, the buildings should display a color which is a variant of brown. Dufau dared to retort to them that it sounded like a “chocolate bar on modern buildings”.
The architect held on and his building was aptly called “the Blue Diamond”. Its facades are made up of curtain walls with bluish panes. The project was nevertheless scandalously simplified: it lost part of its volumes to be reduced to two very wise blocks.