At the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Height and Heritage conference last year, CEO and Managing Director of Kingdom Real Estate Talal Al Maiman professed: “The Eiffel Tower is Paris. You could build the tallest building in the world in the city but it would always be in Paris.”
As rightly suggested by Al Maiman, the Eiffel Tower - which stands at 324m in height - has become synonymous with the French capital, and yet the city has a troubled relationship with building tall. In the 1970s a law was introduced to cap building heights in the arrondissements, but this may be about to change.
A 180m-high office tower designed by Swiss duo Herzog & de Meuron has just been rejected by the Paris City Council in a controversial move which has been dammed by Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Mayor Hidalgo has protested that a number of councillors voided the vote by violating the ‘secret’ nature of the ballot which resulted in 78 votes in favour of the tower and 83 votes against. The decision has been referred to a tribunal.
Following the result, Mayor Hidalgo declared that ‘the law hasn’t been respected. All the ballots shown have been declared invalid’. In the past, the Mayor has stated that she is keen to relax the laws capping building heights in the city to enable economic growth. The €500m Triangle Tower by Herzog & de Meuron would provide an additional 80,000 sq m of office space for the city.