DESCRIPTION – Paris: La Défense: how to create a business district for Paris?
The district of La Défense is not only one of the most emblematic urban projects in Paris. It is a modern business district located at the west area of Paris.
The business center of Paris is grandiose, surprising, innovating. Today, it is the biggest business center in Europe where more than three thousand companies have their offices or their headquarters.
Built since 1958 as a main element on the Triumphal Road of Paris, La Défense is today the example type of urbanisme sur dalle, érigé of towers.
We will go and see the most beautiful collection of towers, more and more more innovating: The Grande Arche, the CNIT, the Areva tower, the Hekla tower… There, the towers are updated to the contemporary environmental needs and prescriptions.
The original plan and design was conceived in the middle of the twentieth century, with the aim of transforming the west suburbs of Paris into a business district like the city of London. During the 1960’s the CNIT building by Robert Edouard Camelot, Jean de Mailly, Bernard Louis Zehrfuss and the collaboration of Jean Prouvé and Pier Luigi Nervi and the first skyscraper by Jean de Mailly were built. The architecture of La Défense has evolved to keep pace with various economic and social changes.
The Grande Arche by Johann Otto von Spreckelsen in the extended centre line of the Tuileries history dates from 1989 and provides a counterpoint to the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysées, symbolizing the gateway to the future. This building marks a new stage in the district in which the extension of the Metro makes La Défense the district initially planned.
La Défense is also an open air museum dedicated to the contemporary sculptures. We will see the most beautiful sculptures among the sixty monumental ones.