|Location||33 Avenue du Maine
|Roof||210 m (690 ft)|
|Floor area||88,400 m2 (952,000 sq ft)|
|Design and construction|
Eugène Élie Beaudouin
Louis-Gabriel de Hoÿm de Marien
A. Epstein and Sons International
Tour Maine-Montparnasse (Maine-Montparnasse Tower), also commonly named Tour Montparnasse, is a 210-metre (689 ft) office skyscraper located in the Montparnasse area of Paris, France. Constructed from 1969 to 1973, it was the tallest skyscraper in France until 2011, when it was surpassed by the 231-metre (758 ft) Tour First. As of March 2017[update], it is the 14th tallest building in the European Union. The tower was designed by architects Eugène Beaudouin, Urbain Cassan, and Louis Hoym de Marien and built by Campenon Bernard. On September 21, 2017, Nouvelle AOM won a competition to redesign the building's facade.
Built on top of the Montparnasse – Bienvenüe Paris Métro station, the 59 floors of the tower are mainly occupied by offices. The 56th floor, with a restaurant called le Ciel de Paris, and the terrace on the top floor, are open to the public for viewing the city. The view covers a radius of 40 km (25 mi); aircraft can be seen taking off from Orly Airport. The guard rail, to which various antennae are attached, can be pneumatically lowered.
The tower's simple architecture, large proportions and monolithic appearance have been often criticised for being out of place in Paris's urban landscape. As a result, two years after its completion the construction of buildings over seven stories high in the city centre was banned.
The design of the tower predates architectural trends of more modern skyscrapers today that are often designed to provide a window for every office. Only the offices around the perimeter of each floor of Tour Montparnasse have windows.
It is said that the tower's observation deck enjoys the most beautiful view in all of Paris, because it is the only place from where the tower cannot be seen.
Climbing the tower
In 1995, French urban climber Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices of any kind, scaled the building's exterior glass and steel wall to the top, almost falling in the process.
In 2005, studies showed that the tower contained asbestos material. When inhaled, for instance during repairs, asbestos is a carcinogen. As with the Jussieu Campus, the problem of removing the asbestos material from a large building used by thousands of people is acute. Projected completion times for removal are three years if the building is emptied for the duration of the work and ten years if the building is not emptied. The removal of asbestos began in July 2007.
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- le Ciel de Paris
- Montparnasse Tower, a story of passion and hate since 40 years
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- Nicolai Ouroussoff (26 September 2008). "Architecture, Tear Down These Walls". New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- Belinda Goldsmith (14 November 2008). "Travel Picks: 10 top ugly buildings and monuments". Reuters. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "Address book." Accor. 17 October 2006. Retrieved on 19 March 2012. "Executive Management Tour Maine-Montparnasse 33, avenue du Maine 75755 Paris Cedex 15 France"
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