- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 05 Sep 2017
La Grande Arche
La Grande Arche, or Grande Arche de la Defense, is a monument building in western Paris, France. It is almost a perfect cube – 108 m wide, 110 m high and 112 m deep.
In 1982, a national design competition was launched by President Mitterrand. The winning design, by the Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen and Danish engineer Erik Reitzel, was intended to be a late-20th century version of the Arc de Triomphe; one that celebrated humanity rather than military victories. The construction of the building was completed in 1989.
The building consists of a prestressed concrete frame and twelve concrete pillars. In between the pillars and the megastructure are a series of plates to absorb vibration. The frame is covered with 350,000 slabs of Carrara marble and 2,800 opaque glass panels.
Its form is turned at a precise angle of 6.33° about the vertical axis. This was done for technical reasons, in that transport stations and a motorway are directly beneath the Arche. In addition, the turn emphasises the depth of the monument.
Government offices are contained inside the two sides of the building, while the roof section was originally a Computing Museum and exhibition centre. However, In 2010, the museum was closed, along with public access to the roof’s viewing deck. A reopening is planned for May 2017.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building of the week series.
- Buildings of the EU.
- CCTV Headquarters.
- Edificio Mirador.
- Eiffel Tower.
- Gas Natural Headquarters, Barcelona.
- Gate of Europe.
- Gate to the East.
- Ministry of Transportation Building, Georgia.
- Tempe Municipal Building.
- The Atomium.
- The Louvre.
- Unusual building design of the week.
Featured articles and news
What is nuisance, and how can construction sites avoid causing it?
Brokenshire launches an implementation plan for the recommendations made by Dame Judith Hackitt.
BSRIA publication provides guidance about the capture and analysis of big data.
Gove launches a waste and resources strategy for England.
Only 9% of construction workers are 24 or younger.
Blighting local areas, preventing investment and and encouraging anti-social behaviour.
Sharing knowledge about the conservation of the built and historic environment.
CIOB launches a call to improve quality in the built environment.
Vastint gets permission for a 6.6 hectare site to support the expansion of Leeds’ city core.
One of the Isle of Man’s best 1960s buildings.
Using renewable energy in developing countries - QSAND and Loughborough University Research collaboration.