In a controversial decision, French courts have finally granted approval to a 180-metre-tall office building – the first new skyscraper since the Tour de Montparnasse, constructed 46 years ago.
Since the 1970s, stringent planning restrictions have prevented the construction of any building to stand more than 37 metres tall within the city of Paris.
A recent change to this long-standing legislation allowed for an increase to these restrictions – meaning that residential buildings up to 50m, and office towers up to a staggering 180m would now be permitted in the city’s central district.
The 42-storey structure, designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, has been dubbed Tour Triangle as an homage to its distinctive shape. The architects have designed for high-profile projects across the globe, including a winning proposal for a $2 billion redevelopment of Melbourne’s own Flinders Street Station in 2013.
“Triangle will thus become one of the scenes of metropolitan Paris. It will not only be a landmark from which the urban panorama can be experienced, but also an outstanding silhouette in the system of axes and monuments of the city.”
Herzog & de Meuron website
Taking full advantage of the 180-metre height limit, the building stands to become Paris’ third-tallest – after the Eiffel Tower (324 metres) and the Tour de Montparnasse (209 metres).
The tower has drawn criticism from locals, who are concerned about its implications for the cultural aesthetic of the city; as well as the construction of a large-scale commercial development when affordable housing in the city continues to be an issue.
Politicians have echoed residents’ sentiments, pointing to a higher energy consumption as a result of the building’s unique profile.
Construction on the €500 million project (approx AU$800 million) is set to commence in late 2019 or early next year, due for completion in 2024 prior to the Paris Olympics. 5,000 workers will be involved in Tour Triangle’s construction.
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