- 209 mètres de hauteur;
- 7200 fenêtres;
- 40.000 m2 de surface;
- 56 piliers en fondations s’enfonçant à plus de 70 mètres sous terre.
Opened in 1854, the gare Montparnasse originally stood at Place du 18 Juin 1940 (formerly Place de Rennes) (see article).. It was made a disastrous locomotive accident on the 22nd of October 1895. Smaller than the other Paris stations, it was decided in 1934 that the structure could no longer support the increasing rail traffic. A new station was clearly required, but it was not until 1956 that a new urban regeneration plan was put in place for the neighborhood. This project envisaged the demolition of 8 hectares of so-called ‘îlots insalubres’ (residential areas considered rundown and unsanitary), and their replacement with a vast new complex of apartments and office space. The then-president George Pompidou dreamt of building a new Manhattan, and he proposed a modern city block on the site of the old station, up to 150 metres high and 100 metres wide. Little enthusiasm was shown for this original project, however, and the idea of a monumental tower was suggested two years later. As soon as the proposed height of this new tower was announced, it was subjected to a barrage of criticism, which considerably delayed its construction. Despite the controversy, the minister Malraux validated the project. The original station was knocked, and a new one was erected between 1966 and 1969. Finally, the first brick was laid in the foundations of the tower in April 1970, under the supervision of architects Jean Sabot, Eugène Beaudouin, Urbain Cassan, and Louis de Hoÿm de Marien. The construction work involved the removal of 420,000 cublic metres of rubble. After three years, it was inaugurated in 1973.
Some figures on the Tower:
- It stands at 209 metres tall
- It has 7,200 windows
- It has a surface area of 40,000 m2
- It comprises 56 pillars in its foundations, which extend more than 70 metres underground.