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La Grande Arche

La Defense 4
Puteaux (Paris) France

Status:built
Construction Dates
  Began1982
  Finished1989
Floor Count35
Building Uses
 - office
 - monument
Structural Types
 - highrise
 - hole
Architectural Style
 - modern
Materials
 - glass
 - steel
 - marble
 - granite
 - concrete, reinforced
 - fabric

 Heights ValueSource / Comments 
Roof364 ft
Inside opening305 ft''
Wide 70m.

Description
• Architects: Johan-Otto von Spreckelsen, Paul Andreu.

• Constructors: Bouygues Construction, Coyne et Bellier, Gamma Industries, GEMO, KONÉ France.
• Client: S.A.E.M.
• Structural Engineers: Ove Arup & Partners, RFR Ingénieurs, Consulting Engineers.
• Material Supplier of membrane: Koch Hightex.
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• The opening of the Grande Arche was made on 14 July 1989 on the 200-year anniversary of the French Revolution.

• The Grande Arche is aligned at western side of Paris' main axis, with the Arc de Triomphe, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, and the Musée du Louvre. In relation main axis is turned at an angle of 6.33°. The main reason of this rotation was the congested basement, a métro station, an RER station, and a motorway all situated directly underneath the building, this angle was the only way to accommodate the structure's giant foundations.

• The grand staircase at the base of the arch is used for watching activity on the plaza below.

• A group of glass elevators lifts for visitors, detached from arch's sides, connects the central platform, under it, to the gallery and observation deck on top. This floor contains shops and open courtyards with stairways to the roof.

• This central platform at the base is a plaza, covered by a permanent tent (2300 m² PTFE-coated glass-fiber fabric) anchored by cables to the sides of the arch, covering 2000m² of area.

• The structure cladding is white Carrara marble, grey granite, and reflective glass.

• The design was selected in an anonymous competition of 425 competitors, in which, after the winning design was chosen, an envelope was opened and the name of was pulled out.

• The cost and the weight of each window panels on the outside facade sides is about as much as of a small car.

• Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris and its spire would fit easily inside opening arch, as wide as the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

• This monumental building was one of French President François Mitterand's "Grands Projets", along with the Louvre Pyramid and Centre Georges Pompidou.

• Width of 106.9 m and a length of 112 meters almost cubical.
• Concrete Volume: 125,000 m³.

• At about 19 m wide side walls distribute 35 bullets, mostly as an office and conference rooms. A white, adjustable in height, cloud-like sails with the name les nuages (the clouds) is a contrast to the monumental Cube set.

• The building is used as a headquarters for the French Trade and Transport Ministry for private sector offices, and as the headquarters of the International Foundation for Human Rights.

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Drawing by Metropolitan
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