Tour Montparnasse

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Montparnasse Tower (Tour Montparnasse) is an office skyscraper in Paris. It is as well the tallest building in France and the second tallest in Europe. It is made of curved steel and smoked glass. MOntparnasse is located on the top of the Paris metro station “Montparnasse-Bienvenue”, at 33 aveue du Maine.

The construction of the tower lasted from 1969 to 1972. Although it started as a redevelopment scheme of the Montparnasse and Maine railway stations in 1958. The tower was planned to be at most 154 metres high. However the developers increased the height to 210 metres, even though this increase was never officially approved. Its simple architecture, height and monolithic appereance have been often criticized, because it does not fit to the urban landscape of the city. This resulted into the fact, that the constructions of the skyscrapers have been banned in the centre of Paris. It was designed in such a trend that placed high importance on a view of the outside, therefore only the offices around the perimeter have windows.

It has 58 floors; most of them are occupied by offices. However, two top floors are opened for viewing the city. It is the 56th floor with a restaurant, with an interesting exhibition showing pictures of the various stages of construction and photo galleries, multimedia shows on the legend of tower, interactive scenes and so on. Just a few stairs higher, there is the top floor with open air terrace. On a clear day, the view covers a radius of 40 kilometres. There is the Europe’s fastest elevator that overruns 196 metres in 38 seconds leading to the top of the tower.

In 1995, the French “urban Spiderman” Alain Robert climbed the building using just his hands and feet without any safety devices.

In 2005 it was found that the tower contains a lot of asbestos material. When inhaled, it can be dangerous, so a huge reconstruction will be needed in the near future to remove asbestos materials. If the tower is emptied it will lasts around three years. If not, the reconstruction may take ten years.
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