Project Triangle: New Emblem for Paris?

For over thirty years Paris has laid low in the building stakes with a ban on buildings over 37 m in height brought in under Jacques Chirac’s rule when he was Mayor of Paris in 1977. But yesterday the first tower to be built in the French capital’s inner city, following the lifting of the ban in July, was revealed. Officials in Paris voted to lift a ban on high rise buildings in the French capital in a bid to combat the city’s housing shortage and invigorate the city’s economic status. This decision has left the path clear for 20 high-rise designs, first flaunted by the current Mayor Bertrand Delanoe in November last year, to be approved. The first of these designs to be approved is Herzog & de Meuron’s “Le Projet Triangle ” which will stand at Porte de Versailles in Southern Paris. The design was showcased by Deputy Mayor, Anne Hidalgo yesterday who said in her blog: “Paris is indeed now part of the first world capitals in tourism business, trade fairs and exhibitions. Since 2001, the City of Paris has always radiated at the heart of its priorities economic development, employment and innovation. In a context of European and global competition increased, this ambition must now be translated in concrete by reinforcing its economic attractiveness.” The design features a pyramidal block structure which will rise to 200 m and Hidalgo hopes that this design will “provide the city of Paris a true symbol commensurate with its economic vitality”. Others may be less excited about the prospect of a tower in the heart of the city however with 62% of the Parisian population opposed to high rises in the city. While Paris holds three regions for tall buildings on the outskirts, including La Defense to the West, the Triangle will be the third tallest structure in the inner city after the Eiffel Tower and Tour Montparnasse in the Montparnasse region. Due to be completed in 2012 the tower will contain offices a conference centre and a 400 bedroom hotel. (Source: World Architecture News)

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