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The makeover of the Eiffel Tower’s first level should be complete by autumn 2014
This is the third in our series of posts looking at major projects that are enhancing parts of Paris.
The Eiffel Tower, Paris’s most famous landmark in the 7th arrondissement (district), celebrated its 125th anniversary on March 31st this year. It is also undergoing a makeover that will transform its first level. One of the more spectacular aspects, a glass floor, will be open to visitors in the fall.
Although the 324-meter (1,063 feet) Eiffel Tower looks like an unchanging part of the Paris landscape, in fact it has undergone several renovations in its history. The previous alterations to the first level were carried out during the 1980s. But these adaptations no longer conformed to construction and environmental regulations and became obsolete as the number of visitors has greatly increased. The tower now attracts 20,000 visitors per day. That’s nearly 7.5 million people every year.
The present makeover will modernize the public spaces and structures on the first level. It also aims to make that level more attractive to visitors and provide better access for people with reduced mobility. It is the largest space in the tower but currently the least visited. Finally, the project will reduce the tower’s environmental impact by harnessing solar and wind power.
Architects Moatti-Rivière in collaboration with Bateg, a subsidiary of construction giant VINCI, won the contract for the works in 2010. The ambitious €25 million project began in April 2012 but the Tower has never been closed to the public during that time.
As of fall 2014, you will have the sensation of walking on air when crossing the tower’s glass floor, 57 meters above ground level. The first level also offers a panoramic view of the city, not to be missed.
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