Sunday, November 14, 2010

Arche de la Défense, Paris

Esplanade de la Défense, Paris
The Arche de la Défense is located in the heart of the business district, near Paris. This building, inaugurated in 1989 by French president François Mitterrand for the commemoration of the French revolution, is built along the historical axe running through Paris, from Le Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe and the Arche de la Défense.

The design is inspired by a four dimensional hypercube projected into our third dimensional space, forming a nearly perfect square, a very unusual design for a building. I particularly enjoy photographing perspectives and I must say they are countless ways of looking at this controversial piece of architecture.

Until very recently, the building was opened to the public, with a spectacular ride in a transparent elevator. The roof was accessible, offering a very interesting view of Paris. As I was passing by on my last visit to Paris, I am glad I stopped and payed for the quite expensive ride. It was closed just a few months later.

Arche de la Défense, Paris - 12mm, f/9
A museum dedicated to the ages of computer sciences was located at the top. I would have passed through pretty quickly if it wasn't for a retrospective of Apple's computers. My family had so many different versions of Apple's that many good memories came back in a couple of seconds.

It is a shame that they decided to close it under the pretext they couldn't invest in repairing the external elevator. This monument is now kept for government employees.

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