Tour Montparnasse

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Tour Maine-Montparnasse
Paris Tour Montparnasse from the Arc de Triomphe 20100505.jpg
Tour Montparnasse seen from the Arc de Triomphe
General information
TypeCommercial offices
Location33 Avenue du Maine
15th arrondissement
Paris, France
Coordinates48°50′32″N 2°19′19″E / 48.8421°N 2.3220°E / 48.8421; 2.3220Coordinates: 48°50′32″N 2°19′19″E / 48.8421°N 2.3220°E / 48.8421; 2.3220
Construction started1969
Roof210 m (690 ft)
Technical details
Floor count58
Floor area88,400 m2 (952,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectCabinet Saubot-Jullien
Eugène Élie Beaudouin
Louis-Gabriel de Hoÿm de Marien
Urbain Cassan
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 April 2019, it is the 19th 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.[5] On September 21, 2017, Nouvelle AOM won a competition to redesign the building's facade.[6]


The logo of Tour Montparnasse

Built on top of the Montparnasse – Bienvenüe Paris Métro station, the 59 floors of the tower are mainly occupied by offices.

The 56th floor, 200 meters from the ground,[7] houses a restaurant called le Ciel de Paris,[8] 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.


Various companies and organizations have settled in the tower:

The 56th floor, with its terrace, bars and restaurant, has been used for private or public events. During the 80s and 90s, the live National Lottery was cast on TF1 from the 56th floor.

Climbing the tower[edit]

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.[citation needed]


The tower's simple architecture, large proportions and monolithic appearance have been often criticised for being out of place in Paris's urban landscape.[9] As a result, two years after its completion the construction of buildings over seven storeys high in the city centre was banned.[10]

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 which the tower cannot be seen.[11]

A 2008 poll of editors on Virtualtourist voted the building the second-ugliest building in the world, behind Boston City Hall in the United States.[12]

Asbestos contamination[edit]

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.[citation needed]


Previously Tour Maine-Montparnasse housed the executive management of Accor.[13]


View over Paris, at dusk, from the top platform of Tour Montparnasse
Panorama of Paris from Tour Montparnasse facing northeast.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tour Montparnasse". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  2. ^ Tour Montparnasse at Emporis
  3. ^ "Tour Montparnasse". SkyscraperPage.
  4. ^ Tour Montparnasse at Structurae
  5. ^ "Tour Montparnasse". Vinci. 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  6. ^ Jessica Mairs (2017). "Tour Montparnasse set to receive "green makeover" by Nouvelle AOM". Dezeen. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Top Paris restaurants with a view". Paris Digest. 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  8. ^ le Ciel de Paris
  9. ^ Montparnasse Tower, a story of passion and hate since 40 years
  10. ^ Laurenson, John (2013-06-18). "Does Paris need new skyscrapers?". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
  11. ^ Nicolai Ouroussoff (26 September 2008). "Architecture, Tear Down These Walls". New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  12. ^ Belinda Goldsmith (14 November 2008). "Travel Picks: 10 top ugly buildings and monuments". Reuters. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  13. ^ "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"

External links[edit]