Tour Montparnasse

From Academic Kids

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The tower is 209 metres (690 feet) high. The restaurant and observation deck on top offer excellent views over Paris.
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Tour Montparnasse viewed from the top level of the Eiffel Tower. The tower is the prominent brown building at the top of the picture
View across Paris from the observation deck of Tour Montparnasse
View across Paris from the observation deck of Tour Montparnasse

Tour Montparnasse (Montparnasse Tower) is a skyscraper at 33, avenue du Maine, in the Montparnasse area of Paris, France, the only skyscraper office building in Paris proper.

Built on top of the Paris Metro station "Montparnasse-Bienvenüe", the 58 floors of the tower are mainly occupied by offices, while two floors are open to the public for viewing the city; the 56th floor with a restaurant, and the terrace on the top floor. On a clear day, the view covers a radius of 40 kilometers; aeroplanes can be seen taking off from Orly Airport. The guard-rail can be removed in only 120 seconds to allow helicopters to land.

At the time of construction, it was the highest building in Europe. The construction of La Grande Arche at La Défense places the tower in a second line of perspective across Paris: see Axe historique.

Its simple architecture, gigantic proportions and monolithic appearance have been often criticised for being out of place in Paris urban landscape and, as a result, two years after its completion the construction of skyscrapers in the city centre was banned. An often-cited quote says that "the tower offers the best view on Paris since it is the only place where you cannot see it".

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 all the way to the top.

In 2005, studies showed that the tower contained a lot of asbestos material. Asbestos, when inhaled for instance during repairs, is a known 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: 3 years if the building is emptied for the duration of the work, and 10 years if the building is not emptied.

External links

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