La Grande Arche de la Défense (French: [la ɡʁɑ̃d aʁʃ də la defɑ̃s]; "The Great Arch of the Defense"), originally called La Grande Arche de la Fraternité (French: [fʁatɛʁnite]; "Fraternity"), 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. A 110-metre-high (360 ft) cube, La Grande Arche is part of the perspective from the Louvre to Arc de Triomphe, and was one of the Grands Projets of François Mitterrand. The distance from La Grande Arche to Arc de Triomphe is 4 km (2+1⁄2 miles).
|Grande Arche de la Défense|
|Location||La Défense, Île-de-France, France|
|Inaugurated||14 July 1989|
|Height||110 m (360 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect(s)||Johan Otto von Spreckelsen|
Design and construction Edit
A great national design competition was launched in 1982 as the initiative of French president François Mitterrand. Danish architect Johan Otto von Spreckelsen (1929–1987) and Danish engineer Erik Reitzel (1941–2012) 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, with most of the work being carried out by French civil engineering company Bouygues. Spreckelsen resigned in 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 Grande Arche is in the approximate shape of a cube with a width, height, and depth of 110 m (360 ft); 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 is covered in Bethel Granite.
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 Grande Arche is turned at an angle of 6.33° about the vertical axis. The most important reason for this turn was technical: with a Paris 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 emphasises the depth of the monument and is similar to the turn of the Louvre at the other end of the Axe Historique. In addition, the Arche is placed so that it forms a secondary axis with the two of the highest buildings in Paris at the time, the Tour Eiffel and the Tour Montparnasse.
The two sides of the Arche house government offices. The roof section was closed in 2010 following an accident without injury and the marble tiles which had begun to peel off were replaced with granite ones. It opened again in 2017 after seven years of renovation work. It features panoramic views of Paris and includes a restaurant and an exhibition area dedicated to photojournalism.
View of the Arc de Triomphe from the Grande Arche
Christmas decoration at the Grand Arche
The Grande Arche seen from the Arc de Triomphe on the Axe historique
North façade of the Grande Arche de la Défense
Western part of La Défense as seen from the Grande Arche
The 2023 La Défense Jazz Festival takes place under the Grande Arche
See also Edit
- "Grande Arche Paris facts". Paris Digest. 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
- Du Sautoy, Marcus. "A 4 Dimensional Cube in Paris". The Number Mysteries. Archived from the original on 14 January 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- Lemonde.fr, Le Monde (11 August 2010)
- "La Défense Grande Arche rooftop: an unobstructed view over Paris". www.sortiraparis.com. Retrieved 10 March 2023.
- "NUAGE LÉGER GRANDE ARCHE - PTFE architectural membrane by Hightex | ArchiExpo".
- "Contact us." Bureau d'Enquêtes sur les Événements de Mer. Retrieved on 22 June 2017. "Bureau d’enquêtes sur les événements de mer (BEAmer) Arche Sud 92055 LA DEFENSE CEDEX FRANCE" – Note the pedestrian access map
Further reading Edit
- François Chaslin et Virginie Picon-Lefebvre, La Grande Arche de La Défense Electa-Moniteur, 1989
- Erik Reitzel Le Cube ouvert. Structures and foundations International conference on tall buildings. Singapore, 1984. ISBN 9971840421
- Erik Reitzel Les forces dont resultent quelques monuments Parisiens de la Fin du XXe siècle Le pouvoir et la ville à l'époque moderne et contemporaine, Sorbonne 2001. ISBN 2747526100