Herzon & de Meuron’s controversial Paris high-rise gets green light

Paris will see its first new skyscraper in almost  40 years after the city approved controversial construction plans first unveiled in 2008.

The Tour Triangle – or Triangle Tower – has sparked debate across the low-rise French capital since Swiss architect firm Herzog & de Meuron published designs for the 42-story tower block ahead of Paris raising the height limit on new buildings.

Inside, the tower will house a 120-room, four star hotel, a restaurant, a Sky Bar, and office space. It should create 5,000 jobs. But at 180m  tall, the Eiffel Tower will still rule the city’s skyline at 300m.

Paris has historically kept its buildings low and classical. It has not built a modern skyscraper since the 1970s, when the 231-metre tall Tour Montparnasse sprung up – much to the horror of the locals, many of whom still consider it an eyesore.

Plans for the Tour Triangle were initially rejected by Paris’ city council in November 2014 but on Tuesday the huge glass project got the go-ahead from the same committee. There was a narrow majority of 87 votes for and 74 against and no abstentions.

The second vote was carried out in private after Paris’ mayor Anne Hidalgo dismissed November’s ballot as invalid, claiming inter-party fighting influenced the outcome. On Tuesday she tweeted that she was “proud and happy that Triangle could be born in Paris.”