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.
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 towers were 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 forest of towers were the first skyscrapers to be built of equal height. The towers would contain 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.
#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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– The Wanderer