Thursday, June 18, 2009

Grande Arche, Paris, France

The La Grande Arche de la Défense is a monument and building in the business district of La Défense to the west of Paris, France. It is usually known as the Arche de la Défense or simply as La Grande Arche.

The construction of the monument, which was undertaken, began in 1982 and was completed in 1989.The Arche is almost a perfect cube (width: 108m, height: 110m, depth: 112m); it has been suggested that the structure looks like a four-dimensional hypercube (a tesseract) projected onto the three-dimensional world. It has a prestressed concrete frame covered with glass and Carrara marble from Italy.

The Arche is turned at an angle of 6.33° on this axis however, a peculiarity which has been explained by several theories. In particular, the architect is said to have wanted to emphasise the depth of the monument, while the specific angle was chosen to create symmetry with the similarly-skewed Louvre at the other end of the Axe. However, it seems the most important reason was mundanely technical: with a métro station, an RER station, and a motorway all situated directly underneath the Arche, the angle was the only way to accommodate the structure's giant foundations.

Architect : Johann Otto von Spreckelsen

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