Great news on the French forum. It is confirmed that the "tour Signal" is distinct from the "tour Phare". You may remember that in the beginning it was announced that a so-called "tour Signal" would be built to symbolize the regeneration of La Défense. Then last November it was Thom Mayne's 300m tower that was selected, and the project was renamed "tour Phare". Then two months ago, during his New Year's "good wishes" press conference, the director of La Défense Authority (EPAD) hinted that the "tour Signal" was a project still alive and distinct from the "tour Phare". I wrote about that in a message some weeks ago here, but some forumers doubted my information. Now it is confirmed by EPAD itself! One French forumer asked on the official La Défense forum whether the "tour Signal" was distinct from the "tour Phare", and the admin from EPAD said YES. You can see it here if you can read French: http://www.ladefense.fr/forum/viewtopic.php?t=792
The fact that EPAD answered is quite remarkable. Usually they are pretty secret about what's going on in La Défense, so I was very surprised to discover this on the French forum. Especially since we are in the middle of a bitter presidential election in France, it's surprising that they answered the French forumer. They must feel quite confident about the "tour Signal" project.
According to the admin, this "tour Signal" would house the Ministry of Public Works. It had long been rumored that the ministry was planning to leave the Grande Arche where its offices are currently located, and build its own tower. Now it's confirmed, and this new tower they'd build for their offices would be the "tour Signal". Also, initially it was rumored the ministry was planning to build 80,000 m² (860,000 sq. ft) of office space, but now it was reported in the French press that they're planning to build 100,000m² (1,075,000 sq. ft). So this born-again "tour Signal" would contain 100,000 m² of office space if the ministry is the only occupier. That means the "tour Signal" would be at least 200m (600 ft) high, perhaps more. For comparisons, the 310m (1,1018 ft) US Bank Tower in LA contains 120,000 m² (1.3 million sq. ft) of office space, so the ministry is not envisioning something small.
The admin said that an architect contest would be launched to select the design of the "tour Signal". It is quite probable that we will have no renderings until the winning project is selected, same as what happened with the "tour Phare". If you re-read what I wrote here a few weeks ago, I reported this rumor that Ferrier's 335m tower could be chosen as the design for the "tour Signal" because Ferrier was furious at the way Thom Mayne's project had been chosen for the "tour Phare" (Thom Mayne didn't respect the budget assigned to contestants). Now the EPAD admin said there would be an architect contest for the "tour Signal", so what of Ferrier's tower? Perhaps Ferrier will be allowed to take part in this new contest, with a more serious chance to win this time. I don't know. Personally, I would love if Ferrier's tower is built. It's by far the most beautiful tower that I've seen proposed in La Défense.
In any case, let's remember that this "tour Signal" for the Ministry of Public Works will be a State project (unlike Generali Tower or "tour Phare" which are private projects), so it is most sensitive to political changes. Should the Socialists win back power next May-June, there's a great likelihood it would be cancelled if their recent anti-La Défense stances are to be taken at face value.
Anyway, I can't resist putting again some pictures of Ferrier's 335m (1,100 ft) tower, for those who haven't seen it already.