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La Grande Arche

Listed under Contemporary Architecture in Paris, France.

  • Photo of La Grande Arche
  • Photo of La Grande Arche
Photo of La Grande Arche
Photo by Al James
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Commissioned to mark the 1989 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, a 20th century cousin for the Arc de Triomphe. The structure is an almost-acurate replica of a tesseract (four-dimensional hypercube portrayed in three dimensions). It completed the row of monuments in Paris called the "axe historique" and is at an angle of 6.33 degrees on this axis, apparently the only way to accommodate the structure's giant foundations. In addition, the Arche is placed so that it forms a secondary axis with the two highest buildings in Paris, the Tour Eiffel and the Tour Montparnasse. The roof section is an exhibition centre.

Written by  George Monkhouse.

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La Defence

The major business district on the outskirts of Paris, crammed full of more skyscrapers than you can shake a stick at. Dont be confused, its not some military outpost (its named after the statue of the defence of Paris in the middle of the district). The focal point of the area is the 100-meter high Grande Arche, a huge, futuristic archway aligned with the Arc de Triomphe in the distance. Around the Grande Arche and esplanade ("le Parvis"), the district holds many of the Paris urban area's tallest high-rises. Maybe that does not sound exciting, but there is also enough shopping, restaurants and public events to keep the most ardent architecture hater entertained.

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