Paris is today one of the world's leading economy and stock exchange centers, and its influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science and the arts contribute to its status as a major cities worldwide.
La Defense is a modern business district situated west of Paris, as an extension of the "ax historique" (historical axis) which starts at the Louvre and continues along the Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, and to bridge Neuilly and the Grande Arche. It extends over the municipalities of Puteaux, Courbevoie and Nanterre (all in the department of Hauts-de-Seine).
This district consists mainly of office skyscraper, connected by a vast esplanade (Le Parvis) of 31 hectares dedicated to pedestrians. The hanging gardens and sixty works of art make him a true open-air museum and a walk much appreciated by the 300 000 people who live or work there. Currently the largest business district in Europe. The inhabitants of La Défense and the people working there are called "Défensois".
Currently the tallest tower is Tour Total Fina Elf, cease to be predictably ends in 2011 when the highest tower of France, the Tour Generali.
- Divided into 12 sectors
- 31 hectares of pedestrian esplanade and
- 11 hectares of green space
- 3 million m² of offices
- 150,000 employees
- Installed 1,500 companies, including 14 of the top 20 national and 15 of the top 50 global
- 2600 hotel rooms
- 60 sculptures of contemporary art
- Surrounded by a ring road (Boulevard Circulaire)
- Communicated by T2 tram line, the Transilien Paris-Saint-Lazare, the RER A, Line 1 subway lines and 16 bus RATP
Its name comes from the Paris La Défense monument created in honor of the soldiers who defended the city during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. This is a sculpture by Louis-Ernest Barrias sculpted in bronze and inaugurated in 1883 on what was Courbevoie roundabout and always visible on Le Parvis.
In September 1958, the Public Establishment for planning of La Defense (Etablissement Public pour l'aménagement of La Defense, EPAD) is created by the state to build, manage and encourage the district. La Défense begins to take shape. A first Management Plan is approved by the State in 1964.He built the first house (Esso, the Nobel Tower ...) and are gradually gaining ground in the factories, and some farms nearby cabins. The Center of New Industries and Technologies (CNIT) designed by architects: Robert Camelot, Jean de Mailly and Bernard Zehrfuss, expected in 1956, before the EPAD, was opened in 1958 by General Charles De Gaulle on the occasion of the exhibition Les Floralies. The towers which follow this first plan, called first generation, are all identical morphology: a base of 42 x 24 meters, limited to a height of 100 meters and an area of ??30 000 m2. In 1966, the Nobel Tower (the architect Jean de Mailly) is the first one up in La Défense.
In the early 1970s, in response to considerable demand, second generation towers make their appearance. The 1964 plan is amended to increase the area of ??the property. The perimeters of 100 000 m2 make their appearance in buildings like the Fiat Tower (now Areva), height of 184 m and 44 floors. Since 1973, the economic crisis strongly slows the development of this district: 4 years did not sell nor a m² of offices.
Since early 1980, to implement the construction of La Défense, towers are built third generation, on a cheaper model: less wide and less tall (like the towers Pascal, Voltaire and the whole neighborhood Michelet).In 1981, he created the largest shopping center in Europe (at the time): Les Quatre Temps (100,000 m2). In 1982, the EPAD, under the leadership of President François Mitterrand, launched the Tête Défense competition will lead to the construction of the Grande Arche (Great Arch). During this same period, hotels are constructed, the CNIT is remodeled (1989) and extends the Parisian metro line 1, opened on April 1, 1992, and the district closer to Paris.
In 1993, La Défense knows its second crisis. Would have to wait until 1997 for the emergence of a dramatic re-boot. Today, La Défense is a major business district in Europe.
Major companies are based there: Cegetel, Société Générale, Total, Aventis, Arcelor. The highest tower is the Total, built in 1985. With 48 floors and 187 meters high tower is the second largest in France after the Montparnasse Tower, it should be noted that the two towers are the work of these architects and François Julien Roger Saubot.
Two new towers are being built a remarkable height, called T1 and Granite. Moreover, Bernard Bled, CEO of EPAD, proposed the December 2, 2005 the board of directors of EPAD a major development plan that involves the construction of 850 000 m2 of office space and 100,000 m2 of new housing, the building a tower 400 meters high and the renovation of existing towers.The State must respond to this plan during 2006 whose implementation, scheduled for 2020, would give a new dimension to the Défense.
More information: www.wikipedia.org.