La Grande Arche de la Defense

The monumental structure of la Grande Arche de la Defense in Paris, originally intended to terminate the city’s historic royal axis, in fact creates a frame that extends the axis. Two 35 story towers with 45% chamfering are spanned by a chamfered top; completing the square is a base with stairways that incline at the same angle. The exterior of the arch is clad in white Carrara marble, making for a smooth and reflective surface.


Interior walls of the cube have square windows set in deep coffers, creating a grid of light and dark. Fabric ‘cloud’ structures and suspended glass panels, along with glass tube elevators, reduce the building’s scale in the pedestrian thoroughfare.

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