Top Ten Essential Architecture top ten Paris Public Buildings  
     
  For a more complete list, see Paris Main List  
1 La Grande Arche  
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architect

Johann Otto von Spreckelsen

location

On the Place de la Defense, where it is the pre-eminent landmark, and distantly on axis with the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees. (get off at metro station: La Défense - Grande Arche.)

date

1982 to 1990

style

Modern

construction

marble cladding

type

Office Building

The Grande Arche de la Fraternité is a monument in the business district of La Défense to the west of Paris. It is usually known as the Arche de la Défense or simply as La Grande Arche.
An international design competition was launched at the initiative of French president François Mitterrand. Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen (1929-1987) designed the winning entry to be a 20th century version of the Arc de Triomphe: a monument to humanity and humanitarian ideals rather than military victories. The construction was begun in 1982. After Spreckelsen's death in 1987, his associate, French architect Paul Andreu, completed the work in 1989/90.
 
     
2 Grand Palais and Petit Palais  
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architect

designed by Henri Deglane, Albert Louvet and Albert Thomas under the supervision of Charles Girault. 

location

close to the Seine on the Avenue Winston-Churchill near the Champs-Élyseés-Clemenceau Metro station.

date

Developed for the Exposition Universelle of 1900

style

NeoClassical

construction

masonry and steel and glass

type

Exhibition hall

The Grand Palais ("Grand Palace") is a large glass exhibition hall that was built for the Paris Exhibition of 1900. It is located in the VIIIe arrondissement of Paris.

Built at the same time as the Petit Palais and the Pont Alexandre III, the exterior of this massive palace combines an imposing Classical sont façade with a riot of Art Nouveau ironwork.
 
     
3 Ritz Hotel  

architect

Jules Hardouin Mansart

location

15 Place Vendôme, Paris

date

early part of the 18th century

style

Second Empire Baroque

construction

stone

type

hotel

The Hôtel Ritz is a hotel located at 15 Place Vendôme, in the heart of Paris, France. The building was constructed in the early part of the 18th century as a private dwelling. In 1854 it was acquired by the Péreire brothers who made it the head office of their Crédit Mobilier financial institution.
 
     
4 L'Institut du Monde Arabe  
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architect

Jean Nouvel

location

Address: Rue de Fosses Saint-Bernard. Telephone: 40.51.38.38

date

1987 to 1988

style

Modern

construction

glass curtain wall Aga Kahn award. 

type

cultural center Museum,Gallery,Library etc.

The Arab World Institute (AWI) was established during 1980 in Paris, when eighteen Arab countries concluded an agreement with France to establish the Institute to disseminate information about the Arab world and set in motion detailed research to cover Arabic and the Arab World’s cultural and spiritual values. The Institute also aims at promoting cooperation and cultural exchanges between France and the Arab world, particularly in the areas of science and technology, thus contributing to development of relations between the Arab world and Europe. Libya joined the agreement in 1984.
 
     
5 Ministère de l’Economie, des Finances et du Budget  

architect

Paul Chemetov with Borja Huidobro

location

Quai de la Rapée & Boulevard de Bercy, 12th.

date

1989

style

Brutalist

construction

masonry, concrete frame

type

Government

Chemetov is an exciting but uneven architect. He excels at innovative sculptural forms and beautiful use of materials, both of which are admirable here, but he often falls down in the human aspect of architecture. He doesn’t seem to always remember the fact that people have to live with his buildings on a daily basis. Here, Chemetov has created a sarcastic but perfect symbol for the Finance Ministry: its Orwellian shape looms like a monster guarding the entrance to the city, with two feet firmly planted in the rushing waters of the Seine.
 
     
6 Tour Montparnasse  

architect

Eugene Beaudouin, Urbain Cassan, Louis Hoym de Marien, Jean Saubot, with consultant A. Epstein & Sons

location

Place Raoul-Dautry, off Boulevard Montparnasse, 15th.

date

1973

style

International Style Mid-century modern  

construction

Height  Roof 210m (689 ft)
Technical details  Floor count 59  Floor area 88,400 m² (951,500 ft²)

type

Office Building

Tour Maine-Montparnasse (Maine-Montparnasse Tower), also commonly named Tour Montparnasse is a 210-meter (689-foot) tall office skyscraper located in Paris, France, in the area of Montparnasse. Constructed from 1969 to 1972, it is the tallest skyscraper in France and the ninth tallest building in the European Union.[citation needed] In the future, it may be surpassed in height by the superrenovated Tour AXA (225 m), and later by Tour Phare and Tour Generali (both approximately 300 meters).
 
     
8 Le Parisien Offices  

architect

G. P. Chedanne 

location

Rue Réaumur, No. 124 (Métro Réaumur Sébastopole).

date

1903

style

Early Modern

construction

riveted iron frame 

type

Office Building

Rue Réaumur, No. 124, shown above, is a great modern building designed by Georges Chédanne in 1905. Except for its upper portion, the facade of this building consists entirely of glass and riveted metal, allowing the architect to develop a design of striking originality. Chédanne's authorship, has sometimes been contested because he also designed buildings in a more conventional classical idiom, but these doubts would seem to be unjustified. The building has long housed the offices of the newspaper Le Parisien libéré.
 
     
9 USSR Pavilion  
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architect

Konstantin Melnikov

location

Paris, France Demolished

date

1925

style

Constructivist

construction

wood frame and glass

type

exhibition pavilion 

The Parisian pavilion was clearer, cleaner and better proportioned, but its main ideas were already in evidence in 1923. The materials of the earlier pavilion, wood and glass, are simple and traditional but reconsidered with unconventional results. Glass spans the corners and the upper storey is cantilevered; on an exterior corner is inserted a spiral staircase. Simple geometric forms have been combined in a sophisticated complex. As in later works Melnikov here makes great use of inscriptions which run diagonally and employ uneven lettering of differing sizes. 
 
     
10 Finnish Pavilion  
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architect

Alvar Aalto

location

Paris, France

date

1935 to 1937

style

Early Modern

construction

wood

type

World Exposition, Paris, 1937

The Exhibit took place partly in closed-in buildings and partly under the open sky in such a way that the visitor hardly noticed the change from interior room to open space. Architecturally, it was not the main composition which dominated—it was rather the individual groupings and the series of posts which were so conceived as to emphasize Finnish timber as both a structural element and wall surfacing