La Defense

Overview:

Overview:

La Défense is the latest tall office tower by the Paris district situated beyond the arrondissements of the center of Paris by the start of the city’s western outskirts, going beyond the last Parisian loop at the Seine river. Grande Arche is located at La Défense which is the most modern and notable landmark. It can be found at the western end of the grand axis which is formed by the Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées.

La Défense was built with the purpose of having a business district. During the 1960s, Charles de Gaulle made an effort to level the grounds and build skyscrapers in one district, rather than changing the look of downtown Paris with huge commercial buildings.

History:

La Défense was named after the statue, La Défense de Paris which was built in 1883 as honor to the soldiers who fought for Paris during the Franco-Prussian War. Sometimes, the name of the place confuses tourists who sometimes think that the place is a military establishment.

During September 1958, The Public Establishment for Installation of La Défense (EPAD) buildings were constructed and slowly replaced the factories, shanties and some farms in the city. The Center of New Industries and Technologies (CNIT) was put up and first used in 1958. The “first generation” skyscrapers apparently looked the same, with a limited height of 100 metres or 330 feet. By the year 1966, the Nobel Tower was the first office tower constructed in the area. Then the RER Line A railway was opened in 1970 which connected La Défense to Étoile.

As a response to the huge demand during the early 1970s, second generation building were put up. However, because of the economic woes in 1973, almost all the construction in the area was stopped. It was during the 1980s when the third generation of towers started to appear. During that time, the biggest commercial centre in Europe was the Quatre Temps built in 1981. Then in 1982, EPAD initiated the Tête Défense contest t search for a monument which could complete the Axe historique. After some time, it led to the creation of the Grand Arche situated by the west area of the quarter. At the same time, hotels were also built and the CNIT was renovated. In the year 1992, Line 1 of the Paris Metro reached La Défense, making the area accessible to the city.

In 1990, on Bastille Day, Jean Michel Jarre, a French electronic composer came up with a huge concert at the area, utilizing the Grand Arche as the three towers at the area as projection screens, then making a pyramidal stage on top of the road. The concert was named Paris la Defense and was open for the public for free. It attracted two million people, reaching all the way to the Arc de Triomphe. This defeated Jarre’s own previous world record for having the biggest number of people attend a musical concert.

After some stagnation during the middle of 1990s, La Défense expanded and is now known as the biggest purpose-built business district in Europe. Important offices had headquarters in the area, including Neuf Cegetel, Société Générale, Total, Aventis, Areva and Arcelor. The highest building belongs to Total which was built in 1985. It is as high as 187 metres, with 48 floors and is the second tallest inhabited building in Paris.

Last September 9, 2008, La Défense celebrated its 50th anniversary with an impressive firework display. In December 2005, Bernard Bled who is the CEO and Chairman of EPAD made known to the public their 9-year development plan which they named “La Défense 2006-2015”.

The plan focuses on four main points which were to renovate outdated skyscrapers, allow new buildings, improve the balance between offices and residential housing, as well as to make the transport of local employees from their houses to La Défense be easier. The plan was confirmed by the government in July 2006 which has to be carried through the year 2015. The plan is justified by the strong pressure of the estate that wants to build new buildings near Paris.

But the plan has to go through some problems: French economy goes through a short-term slowdown, the government is trying to balance the tertiary sector employment in the area because La Défense today is more focused on a huge part of those jobs, then traffic is already a big problem in the district. It would require large investments to build more transport infrastructures.

is the latest tall office tower by the Paris district situated beyond the arrondissements of the center of Paris by the start of the city’s western outskirts, going beyond the last Parisian loop at the Seine river. Grande Arche is located at La Défense which is the most modern and notable landmark. It can be found at the western end of the grand axis which is formed by the Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées.

La Défense was built with the purpose of having a business district. During the 1960s, Charles de Gaulle made an effort to level the grounds and build skyscrapers in one district, rather than changing the look of downtown Paris with huge commercial buildings.

History:

La Défense was named after the statue, La Défense de Paris which was built in 1883 as honor to the soldiers who fought for Paris during the Franco-Prussian War. Sometimes, the name of the place confuses tourists who sometimes think that the place is a military establishment.

During September 1958, The Public Establishment for Installation of La Défense (EPAD) buildings were constructed and slowly replaced the factories, shanties and some farms in the city. The Center of New Industries and Technologies (CNIT) was put up and first used in 1958. The “first generation” skyscrapers apparently looked the same, with a limited height of 100 metres or 330 feet. By the year 1966, the Nobel Tower was the first office tower constructed in the area. Then the RER Line A railway was opened in 1970 which connected La Défense to Étoile.

As a response to the huge demand during the early 1970s, second generation building were put up. However, because of the economic woes in 1973, almost all the construction in the area was stopped. It was during the 1980s when the third generation of towers started to appear. During that time, the biggest commercial centre in Europe was the Quatre Temps built in 1981. Then in 1982, EPAD initiated the Tête Défense contest t search for a monument which could complete the Axe historique. After some time, it led to the creation of the Grand Arche situated by the west area of the quarter. At the same time, hotels were also built and the CNIT was renovated. In the year 1992, Line 1 of the Paris Metro reached La Défense, making the area accessible to the city.

In 1990, on Bastille Day, Jean Michel Jarre, a French electronic composer came up with a huge concert at the area, utilizing the Grand Arche as the three towers at the area as projection screens, then making a pyramidal stage on top of the road. The concert was named Paris la Defense and was open for the public for free. It attracted two million people, reaching all the way to the Arc de Triomphe. This defeated Jarre’s own previous world record for having the biggest number of people attend a musical concert.

After some stagnation during the middle of 1990s, La Défense expanded and is now known as the biggest purpose-built business district in Europe. Important offices had headquarters in the area, including Neuf Cegetel, Société Générale, Total, Aventis, Areva and Arcelor. The highest building belongs to Total which was built in 1985. It is as high as 187 metres, with 48 floors and is the second tallest inhabited building in Paris.

Last September 9, 2008, La Défense celebrated its 50th anniversary with an impressive firework display. In December 2005, Bernard Bled who is the CEO and Chairman of EPAD made known to the public their 9-year development plan which they named “La Défense 2006-2015”.

The plan focuses on four main points which were to renovate outdated skyscrapers, allow new buildings, improve the balance between offices and residential housing, as well as to make the transport of local employees from their houses to La Défense be easier. The plan was confirmed by the government in July 2006 which has to be carried through the year 2015. The plan is justified by the strong pressure of the estate that wants to build new buildings near Paris.

But the plan has to go through some problems: French economy goes through a short-term slowdown, the government is trying to balance the tertiary sector employment in the area because La Défense today is more focused on a huge part of those jobs, then traffic is already a big problem in the district. It would require large investments to build more transport infrastructures.

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