Built in 1974, the tower is 184 m (604 feet) tall. It is the second-tallest skyscraper in La Défense and the third-tallest skyscraper in Île-de-France.
Tour Areva is entirely black; its cladding is made of dark granite and darkened window. Its shape is that of a perfect square prism. It is said that its architects were inspired by the black monolith in Stanley Kubrick's movie " A Space Odyssey".
The site where the tower was built was codenamed CB1 in La Défense initial master plan. A twin tower of Tour Areva was initially planned at the current location of the Tour Total, but was cancelled due to the oil crisis of 1974.