Grande Arche de la Defense – Historical Axis
The Grande Arche is the brand image of Paris La Défense.
La Défense is not only the city’s business district, but it’s also the largest purposely built business district in Europe.
It was developed in the town of Puteaux, in the western outskirts of Paris.
The gigantic arch is also the heart of the district and stands in the Axe Historique or Voie Royale.
You can clearly see this alignment, even on a grey day.
In 1983 François Mitterrand entrusted the architect Von Spreckelsen with the design of the arch.
He commissioned the French building company Bouygues with the construction.
The inauguration of La Grande Arche de la Defense took place on August 26, 1989 to mark the bicentenary of the signature of Human Rights.
Grande Arche de la Defense – Architecture
The gigantic concrete and glass cube is hollow (112m long x 106.9m wide x 110.9m high).
The 1ha-terraced roof boasts one of the best views over Paris.
The Fondation Internationale des Droits de l’Homme and the Fondation Arche de la Fraternité headquarters used to be on the roof terrace.
There were also a convention and exhibition centre, two museums and a restaurant.
However, an elevator accident resulted in the definitive closure of the terrace on April 24, 2010.
The space has since been re-allocated to the Ministry of Ecology to extend the various departments already located in the south and north sections of the arch.
The arch’s 35 floors provide 87,000m2 of office space, of which 20,000m2 are dedicated to public temporary exhibitions, concerts and conference rooms.
Metro: Esplanade de la Defense on Line 1 and RER A
Coordinates: Lat 48.892514 – Long 2.236174