If you haven’t visited my last post from Paris where I visited Notre Dame De Paris, do read to get to know more about my voyage, else moving on. I usually prefer mountains over beaches and being brought up in Delhi, the capital of India I am more of a city person. So, after getting to know I thought of exploring the city side of Paris as well which drive me to explore La Défense.
La Défense is the largest office complex in Europe and thus I went on to exploring the same. The complex is filled with skyscrapers and urban architecture satisfying my love for photography. After the First World War concluded, an axis from Arc De Triomphe was planned at La Defense which is western edge of Paris city. There was ambiguity over the height of buildings to be built there as per current Triumphal manner. Later it was agreed to build urban skyscrapers at the end of long avenue so as to avoid the obstruction of Etoile’s view.
At the end of the First World War, plans were made to develop the axis from the Arc de Triomphe at the Etoile to La Défense, an area at the edge of the center of Paris. In 1931 though, the authorities organized a new competition, but the intent was to limit the height of the buildings along the Triumphal Way. Only at the end of the long avenue, at the Défense, were towers allowed. This was recommended by the authorities as towers close to the center would obstruct the view on the Etoile.
#A Forest of Towers
After the second World War ended, in the beginning of 1950’s the La Defense site was selected as an office space. The image on the left were the first skyscrapers of equal height to be built. The towers contains 25 stories where 25offices will come up.
Later on various companies started to root for taller towers and hence the complex today holds various towers of varied heights. The highest tower stands at 589 feet, and this caused public criticism towards the forest of towers which ultimately led the authorities to build modern age Grand Arche.
#Grande Arche de la Défense
Grand Arche was primarily built with the concept of modern day Arc de Triomphe. French President Mitterrand supported urban Grand Arche or Great Arch. The Arche is a cube shaped structure standing at 106meters built by a Danish architect – Otto von Spreckelsen.
– The Dreamer