Futuristic pyramid to grace the French capital
In a few years, Paris will be one new and very striking skyscraper the richer as the "squashed pyramid" rises.
It has been commissioned by a French-Dutch company. It is already being dubbed the "squashed pyramid", but the building is officially called the Triangle. By 2012, the futuristic skyscraper is due to stand by the side of the Paris ring road, and no motorist will be able to pass without noticing it, and not just because of its triangular shape.
The outside will be for the most part constructed from glass, making the structure transparent. In the evening, the building will light up, making it look like something out of a fairy tale. It will be 180 metres high, with about 50 floors and will be surrounded by a public park.
The Swiss architectural firm Herzog & De Meuron, which has designed the building, earlier won fame for the Beijing Olympic Stadium and for London's Tate Modern museum.
The French-Dutch Unibail-Rodamco property company has commissioned the project. The company owns a huge exhibition and conference centre in southwest Paris but this is being refurbished and the new skyscraper will serve as the company's showpiece. The structure will not only be eye-catching because of its shape, but also because of its very narrow base. Despite its great height, it will be only 13 metres wide and its vertical elevation is not straight but whimsically wavy.
Following lengthy talks with Paris local authorities, Unibail-Rodamco is being allowed to flout the usual regulations. New buildings are not normally allowed to be higher than 37 metres. However, recently, Paris councillor Anne Hidalgo, who holds the architecture and town planning portfolio, called for "pragmatism". She argues that building skyscrapers could "attract innovative companies and give them the chance to grow", creating new jobs in the capital.
Job creation is one of the aims of the pyramid, which is destined to contain mostly office space. It is estimated the offices will house 5,000 workers.