Tour Triangle Moving Forward

John Hill
23. November 2021
Image: Herzog & de Meuron

Six long years after it was approved by the Parisian city council, Herzog & de Meuron's Tour Triangle proposed for the 15th arrondissement is moving forward following a recent financing deal.

Set to rise near the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, the planned 42-story tower would reach 180 meters, just shy of 600 feet. Like its name suggests, the Triangle Tower has a distinctive wedge shape that recalls Herzog & de Meuron's earlier (and shorter, at 71m / 232ft) St. Jakob Tower in the firm's hometown of Basel, Switzerland. The tapering top of Tour Triangle has not endeared the project to all Parisians though, as many are attempting to stop what would be only the second skyscraper within central Paris since the unloved Tour Montparnasse was completed in 1973. (Readers might remember that a design competition was held in 2017 to renovate Tour Montparnasse, greatly changing its appearance on the Parisian skyline.) The Architect's Newspaper reports that opposition groups are attempting to stop the project on environmental grounds, potential favoritism on the part of the office of Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and the obsolete nature of the mixed-use tower in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

Paris's city council rejected the proposed Tour Triangle in late 2014, but then Mayor Hidalgo deemed the vote invalid and called for a second one, which happened in the summer of 2015 and came down in favor of the tower. Subsequently a building permit was issued but then, in April 2017, it was revoked, per an article in Architectural Digest. That article was published in May 2019, when French courts overturned the revocation, finding "that the building permit was not, in fact, unlawful." The latest news, first broken by The Times, indicates that construction could start before the end of the year, though opposition parties, including the mayor of the 15th arrondissement, are still attempting to block the project. A late-2021 construction start would mean a 2026 completion, two years later than the original target of completing the building in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

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