Have you heard about La Défense in the city of lights ~ Paris?

Paris is well known for its iconic Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, art museums, cafes and what not. There is also a urban side to the city which drove my urge to explore La Défense. 

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La Défense is the largest office complex in Europe and is filled with skyscrapers and urban architecture. After the First World War concluded, an axis from Arc De Triomphe was planned at the Etoile to La Défense 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.

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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 Défense 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 25 offices 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.

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#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 106 meters built by a Danish architect – Otto von Spreckelsen.

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Source – Google
Have you been to La Défense or work there? Please share your experience.

 

 

– The Wanderer

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5 thoughts on “Have you heard about La Défense in the city of lights ~ Paris?

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