|Johann Otto von
Spreckelsen (May 4, 1929--March 16, 1987) was a Danish architect.
He studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen, and later served as
director up to his death.
He directed the creation of several modern churches in Denmark, especially
da:Vangede Kirke near Copenhagen (1974) and in Stavnsholt at the city of
Farum (1981), although his best known work is the Grande Arche at La
Défense in Paris.
He was a modest man, who once in an interview declared that he was an
architect who built three churches and one Arche. He relied heavily on
simple geometical figures, especially the quadrant, which can be seen in
his churches, in the interior decorations even of church organs.
His design won the international competition of the Grande Arche, because
the French President François Mitterrand felt it was the best because of
its 'purity and strength'.
This work of 100 meters of height was inaugurated in 1989, two years after
his death, uses with remarkable ability the technology of our times and
is inspired by nearby Arc de Triomphe.
The monument is located in the heart of the financial district of La
Défense and is built of granite and of Carrara marble. From its terrace
it is possible to admire a panoramic view all along the Champs-Élysées
with the Arc de Triomphe, the obelisco at the Place de la Concorde and
the gardens of the Tuilleries and the Louvre beyond.