Grande Arche / La Défense
La Grande Arche de la Défense; (also La Grande Arche de la Fraternité) is a monument and building in the business district of La Défense and in the commune of Puteaux, to the west of Paris, France. It is usually known as the Arche de la Défense or simply as La Grande Arche. (Wikipedia)
La Défense is a major business district just west of the city of Paris. It is part of the Paris Metropolitan Area, located in the department Hauts-de-Seine spread across the commune of Courbevoie, and parts of Puteaux and Nanterre. (Wikipedia)
La Grade Arche:
A great national design competition was launched in 1982 as the initiative of French president François Mitterrand. Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen (1929–1987) and Danish engineer Erik Reitzel designed the winning entry to be a late-20th-century version of the Arc de Triomphe: a monument to humanity and humanitarian ideals rather than military victories. The construction of the monument began in 1985. Spreckelsen resigned on July 1986 and ratified the transfer of all his architectural responsibilities to his associate, French architect Paul Andreu. Reitzel continued his work until the monument was completed in 1989.
The Arche is in the approximate shape of a cube (width: 110m, height: 110m, depth: 110m); it has been suggested that the structure looks like a hypercube (a tesseract) projected onto the three-dimensional world. It has a prestressed concrete frame covered with glass and Carrara marble from Italy and was built by the French civil engineering company Bouygues.
La Grande Arche was inaugurated in July 1989, with grand military parades that marked the bicentennial of the French Revolution. It completed the line of monuments that forms the Axe historique running through Paris. The Arche is turned at an angle of 6.33° about the vertical axis. The most important reason for this turn was technical: with a métro station, an RER station, and a motorway all situated directly underneath the Arche, the angle was the only way to accommodate the structure's giant foundations. In addition, from an architectural point of view, the turn emphasizes the depth of the monument and is similar to the turn of the Louvre at the other end of the Axe historique.
La Défense is Europe's largest purpose-built business district with 560 hectares (1,400 acres) area, 72 glass and steel buildings of which 16 are completed skyscrapers, 180,000 daily workers, and 3,500,000 square metres (38,000,000 sq ft) of office space. Around its Grande Arche and esplanade ("le Parvis"), La Défense contains many of the Paris urban area's tallest high-rises.
The district is located at the westernmost extremity of the ten-kilometre-long Historical Axis of Paris, which starts at the Louvre in Central Paris, and continues along the Champs-Élysées, well beyond the Arc de Triomphe along the Avenue de la Grande Armée before culminating at La Défense. The district is centred in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Courbevoie, Nanterre and Puteaux. La Défense is primarily a business district, and hosts a population of 25,000 permanent residents and 45,000 students. La Défense is also visited by 8,000,000 tourists each year,and houses an open-air museum. (All texts by Wikipedia)