The Eiffel Tower with the skyline of La Defense district behind it, Source: Depositphotos

Paris bans skyscrapers…yet again

Paris bans skyscrapers…yet again

The city reaffirmed its commitment to a low profile after facing backlash from the construction of Tour Triangle

The City of Paris has adopted a new urban development plan (Plan Local d’Urbanisme), which states that it will not allow the construction of buildings taller than 12 storeys, or 37 metres. The aim of the new plan is to focus on environmentally friendly and sustainable construction and keep architectural output to a profile that conforms to what is already on the ground.

Apparently, Parisians aren’t too keen on the idea of making their beloved city look more business-like akin to London or New York. What’s also notable, however, is that this kind of story seems to repeat every few decades. By now, we all know that the symbol of the French capital – the Eiffel Tower – was only meant as a temporary exhibition during the 1889 Expo and its iron profile was much hated and shunned by the locals. But it stayed as a compromise, plus it attracted tourists.

A constantly repeated story

Likewise, there was a ban on high-rises between 1977 and 2010. That one occasioned by another backlash stemming from the construction of the 209-m tall Montparnasse Tower, which admittedly does sit a bit awkward in the sea of churches and residential buildings. That monolith is also the second-tallest building in Paris.

That ban was overturned by former mayor Bertrand Delanoë in favour of a limit of 180 metres for office towers and 50 metres for housing blocks. And surprise, surprise – here comes another backlash. This one provoked by the construction of the Triangle Tower (Tour Triangle).

That glass pyramid, whose construction began in 2021 and will be completed in 2026, is set to become the city’s third-highest building and add a new permanent landmark on the skyline of Paris. The building is in a trapezoidal form, meaning it will resemble a thin tower from central Paris, but from the east and west of the city, its full width will be visible. What’s sure is that it will be impossible to ignore and thus not to everyone’s liking.

The controversy arising from its construction seems to have influenced the latest ban on high-rises. For how long though – who knows?

Still, for lovers of skyscrapers, there is always the business district of La Défense. For everyone else, Paris seeks to retain its Old World charms as best as it can.



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