The 590ft (180m) proposed Herzog de Meuron design labeled ‘Triangle Tower’, has been in the spotlight over recent weeks after the cross-party council approved the tower’s protocol agreement. Opposing the recent approval, Green party members are eager to share their thoughts commenting that the “colossal” project is “yet another office block” according to party member Yves Contassot.
The controversy over the 40-story steel and glass building surely was anticipated; the French capital has had a 30+ year drought of buildings over 121ft. In 1977 a ban was put into place, shortly after the completion of the 689ft Tour Montparnasse, because Parisians feared that the city center would lose its existing urban fabric to skyscrapers similar to the Montparnasse.
To most Parisians the Montparnasse’s over exaggerated proportions and lack of character have left an uneasy feeling for future skyscraper development. Many citizens are not opposed to high-rise development, such as Olivier de Rohan Chabot member of Safeguard of French Art, however he has concerns, “Look at the Montparnasse Tower; it has crushed the hotel des Invalides (housing Napoleon’s tomb). The monument was built to be grandiose. But what has it become? A dwarf. The tower ridicules it. In this sense, it’s a veritable attack on the beauty of the capital” (as stated Le Figaro newspaper).
To put the project a bit more into context, the location for ‘Triangle Tower’ is near the Porte de Versailles which is home to an expansive exhibition centre. The Eiffel Tower at 1,072ft still will dominate the Paris skyline and has 482ft on the proposed Herzog de Meuron’s ‘Triangle Tower’. Also to take into consideration are the buildings currently under construction in the business district of La Défense, west of the capital, some of Europe’s highest skyscrapers (Lighthouse, Signal and Hermitage Plaza towers).
Architects Herzog de Meuron were commissioned for the project which plans on utilizing both wind and solar power to generate energy. Its shape would “limit the shadow on neighbours” stated Jacques Herzog co-architect, continuing, “one mustn’t think of it as a tower. It’s more like a topography a vertical city.”
The Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, is strongly backing the project which is in his opinion “emblematic of Paris’ aura and dynamism”. Anticipated to create 5,000 jobs according to local officials, the mixed-use ‘Triangle Tower’ will combine street level shopping with offices, a conference hall, and panoramic restaurant above.
If the ‘Triangle Tower’ is able to make it through all of the red-tape it will face it will require an estimated 535m euros and will have a tentative completion date of 2017.
Source: The Telegraph