Grande Arche

The Grande Arche ( German: the large arc ) is a modern building in the form of a triumphal arch in the skyscraper district of La Défense in the city Puteaux, west of Paris. This new Arc de Triomphe is formally called La Grande Arche de la Fraternité, but is often also or simply in Paris L' Arche de La Défense La Grande Arche. It forms the western perspective of the so-called ax historique, the Avenue, which forms a straight line, which is the more famous Arc de Triomphe and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel between the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre.

However, the structure is not exactly aligned with the visual axis of the axis historique, but rotated by 6.5 degrees from the axis. This deviation had to be taken into account, as in the statics of the building had to be considered that there running traffic tunnel (RER, Metro and highway). Due to the slightly oblique view results from the distance a spatially deeper effect of the structure than would be the case with a frontal view.


The Grande Arche was built in 1984-1989 on the initiative of the then President François Mitterrand, who was by many monumental buildings change the cityscape of Paris in the 1980s. The Grande Arche was designed by Johan Otto von Spreckelsen and Paul Andreu. Of 425 participants, won the 1st prize of Spreckelsen an international competition. The opening of the Grande Arche on July 14, 1989 on the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.


The building is almost cube-shaped with a height of 110.9 meters, a width of 106.9 meters and a length of 112 meters. The facade is made of glass and Carrara marble, the building structure made ​​of reinforced concrete. 125,000 cubic meters of the concrete volume. At about 19 meters wide side walls is 35 storeys, which are mostly used as an office and conference rooms are spread. A white, adjustable in height, cloud-like sail nuages ​​named les ( German: the clouds ) will set a contrast to the monumental Torwürfel.


The building is used as the official residence for the French Trade and the Ministry of Transport, for private sector offices and as the headquarters of the International Foundation for Human Rights ( in the roof ).

Tourists could until April 2010 after payment of an entrance fee with one of the glass elevators - even with a glass floor - go directly into the roof area. From there, a viewing platform could be entered, which allows a view of La Défense and the ax historique. In addition, found on the top floor regular exhibitions of various kinds instead, the occurrence of which was both inclusive. After technical problems with the elevator, the operator ended this way and announced in the summer of 2010 to convert the spaces to offices and no longer make the public so accessible.