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Paris Plans Controversial Skyscraper Project

Paris is a city famous for traditions and beautiful architecture, but now a new skyscraper will be joining the cityscape.

The skyscraper known as the Tour Triangle, will be the first to be built in Paris for over 40 years and the planned construction is proving very controversial in the French capital.

Designs for the project were first unveiled to the Parisian public in 2008 by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. Ever since debate has raged about the Tour Triangle and opinions are split about whether it is good for the city of not.

Unlike many other major cities Paris has kept its buildings at a fairly low height, preferring classical style over towering modern metal and glass skyscrapers. The last skyscraper built in Paris came in the 70's in the form of the Tour Montparnasse, which was also opposed by many and considered ugly. After work was completed on the Montparnasse building, Paris introduced a 36 metre height limit on new buildings. This height restriction was finally removed in 2010 paving the way for new tall buildings such as the Tour Triangle.

The Tour Triangle will reach up to provide a 42-story tower block, complete with a four star 120 room hotel, restaurant and bar, plus commercial office space. It's final height of 180 metres will make it roughly as tall as the Gherkin tower in London and around half the height of New York's Empire State Building.

The €500-million privately backed project will take place in the south of the city in the 17th arrondissement, and as the 'Triangle' name suggests the building takes form in a triangular pyramid shape.


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The planning process for the building was not smooth and a first proposal was rejected by the Paris City Council in November 2014. On Tuesday a second vote took place and the project was narrowly passed 87 votes for and 74 votes against.

The second vote was carried out after Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, said the previous vote was invalid and influenced by party politics.

The plans for the space at the Tour Triangle also changed since the first vote with more public space now included in the designs. This may have helped to swing the yes vote in the buildings favour.

Construction is now expected to begin towards the end of 2016 and work is expected to be completed by 2020.

Critics of the building still maintain the the Tour Triangle does not fit the surrounding buildings of the city and will look out of place.

Those in favour of the building say that when complete it will create 5,000 jobs and that skyscrapers can help provide the space needed for the large population in the Paris area.


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