Tour Maine-Montparnasse (Maine-Montparnasse Tower), also commonly named Tour Montparnasse, is a 210-metre (689 ft) office skyscraper located in the Montparnasse area of Paris, France. Constructed from 1969 to 1973, it was the tallest skyscraper in France until 2011, when it was surpassed by the 231-metre (758 ft) Tour First. It remains the tallest building in Paris outside of the La Défense business district. As of February 2020[update], it is the 14th tallest building in the European Union. The tower was designed by architects Eugène Beaudouin, Urbain Cassan, and Louis Hoym de Marien and built by Campenon Bernard. On September 21, 2017, Nouvelle AOM won a competition to redesign the building's facade.
|Location||33 Avenue du Maine |
|Roof||210 m (690 ft)|
|Floor area||88,400 m2 (952,000 sq ft)|
|Design and construction|
Eugène Élie Beaudouin
Louis-Gabriel de Hoÿm de Marien
A. Epstein and Sons International
The view covers a radius of 40 km (25 mi); aircraft can be seen taking off from Orly Airport.
The guard rail, to which various antennae are attached, can be pneumatically lowered.
The tower is mainly occupied by offices. Various companies and organizations have settled in the tower:
- The International Union of Architects, Axa and MMA insurers, the mining and metallurgy company Eramet, Al Jazeera
- Political parties have used campaign offices, such as François Mitterrand in 1974, the RPR in the late 70s, Emmanuel Macron's La République En Marche! in 2016, Benoît Hamon since 2018
- Previously Tour Maine-Montparnasse housed the executive management of Accor.
Climbing the towerEdit
French urban climber Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices of any kind, scaled the building's exterior glass and steel wall to the top twice, in 1995 and in 2015.
His achievement was repeated by Polish climber Marcin Banot in 2020. From the middle of the way he was followed by a lifeguard on a rope but Marcin refused to connect a safety rope and climbed to the top without any help.
The tower's simple architecture, large proportions and monolithic appearance have been often criticized for being out of place in Paris's urban landscape. As a result, two years after its completion the construction of buildings over seven stories high in the city center was banned.
The design of the tower predates architectural trends of more modern skyscrapers today that are often designed to provide a window for every office. Only the offices around the perimeter of each floor of Tour Montparnasse have windows.
It is said that the tower's observation deck enjoys the most beautiful view in all of Paris because it is the only place from which the tower cannot be seen.
In 2005, studies showed that the tower contained asbestos material. When inhaled, for instance during repairs, asbestos is a carcinogen. Monitoring revealed that legal limits of fibers per liter were surpassed and, on at least one occasion, reached 20 times the legal limit. Due to health and legal concerns, some tenants abandoned their offices in the building.
The problem of removing the asbestos material from a large building used by thousands of people is unique. The projected completion time for removal was cited as three years. After a nearly three year delay, removal began in 2009 alongside regular operation of the building. In 2012, it was reported the Maine-Montparnasse Tower was 90% free of asbestos.
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- le Ciel de Paris
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