Paris Politicians Embroiled in Not So Secret Skyscraper Spat

Architecture International News
Courtesy Herzog and de Meuron

(Courtesy Herzog and de Meuron)

Paris’ stringent urbanism laws triumphed yesterday in the city council’s vote to reject plans to build what would be the third tallest skyscraper in the city and the first such towering structure in over four decades. A breach of the secret ballot terms, however, has prompted socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo to reject the vote after it came to light that opposition council members had revealed their decisions, with one official later tweeting a picture of himself brazenly holding his yellow ballot up in the air.

Courtesy Herzog and de Meuron

(Courtesy Herzog and de Meuron)

“The law has not been respected,” said Hidalgo, who plans to present the matter to an administrative court.

The proposed glass, pyramidal shaped building, designed by Herzog and de Meuron, would rise up to 590 feet in the 15th arrondissement, and become the third tallest after the Eiffel Tower (1,0653 ft) and the Montparnasse tower (686 ft). Those in favor of the so-called Tour Triangle argue that it will create 3,000 construction jobs and economic activity.

The controversy surrounding the decision epitomizes the ongoing struggle plaguing new development in Paris: Whether architecture should be contextual to fit within the scale of the historic city or push the bounds. From this decision, it will likely be a slow march towards the latter.

Courtesy Herzog and de Meuron

(Courtesy Herzog and de Meuron)

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