Triangle may beat Paris skyscraper ban

Modernist block would be first in 20 years to break 37m height limit

The dainty pyramid outside the Louvre museum in Paris looks set to gain a giant sister. Towering at a height of 180m, the new pyramid, known as Projet Triangle, will be nine times the size of the edifice that greets visitors to the main courtyard of the Palais du Louvre.

With 50 storeys and 88,000 square metres of office space, the glass and metal structure designed by the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron might be seen as Paris's answer to Lord Foster's Swiss Re building in the City of London, known affectionately as the Gherkin.

No skyscraper has been built in the French capital for almost 20 years, but today officials will vote on a modification to planning regulations that would enable the Triangle to be built at the Porte de Versailles, just inside the city's south-western walls.

Last summer, the Socialist Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, launched a controversial proposal to overturn a ban on high-rise buildings in a city where the Tour Montparnasse is a much-bemoaned blight on the skyline. The Triangle would be the first of six new skyscrapers to break the maximum 37m height limit on buildings.

However, Denis Baupin, the Deputy Mayor and a member of the Green Party, has criticised the proposals as "bling-bling architecture". He said: "We have already got one tower that adds to the city's radiance: the Eiffel Tower. No need for another one."

As the design has evolved, the Triangle – which would become the third-tallest structure in Paris after the Eiffel and Montparnasse towers – has gained more detractors.

The original plan to incorporate a 400-bedroom hotel was scrapped in favour of extra office space. A single panoramic lift on the north face will take visitors up to the top of the tower, as opposed to the multiple elevators that were first put forward.

Philippe Goujon, a senior official of the ruling UMP party in the Vaugirard district, or 15th arrondissement, where the Triangle will be built, said: "Now it is a simple office project with nothing very original to see."

But one of Mr Delanoë's lieutenants, Anna Hidalgo, said: "Five thousand jobs will be created and visitors will be able to go up the tower and look out over Paris. And there will be a new 8,000-metre public garden."

The 20-metre-high Louvre pyramid was almost as controversial when built in 1989. Many people felt the futuristic creation of the Chinese-born US architect Ieoh Ming Pei clashed with the palace. It has also been the subject of urban Satanic legend; some people claimed it had 666 panes of glass – a myth repeated in Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code – but it has 673.

After the vote on the Triangle, it will be the subject of a public inquiry next year. If all goes smoothly, the owner Unibail-Rodamco hopes to have it completed in 2013.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower