Paris authorities approve first skyscraper for nearly 40 years

Herzog & de Meuron’s 180m Triangle Tower has been approved by Paris seven months after the city authorities first rejected it as too dominant.

The 43-storey glass building, which has been causing controversy since it was unveiled in 2008, will now become the French capital’s first skyscraper for nearly 40 years. Completion is slated for 2017.

Architects working in the city predicted it would not be the last to be built for another 40 years - unlike the Tour Montparnasse, which triggered a new height limit after it was completed in 1972.

The height restriction was finally relaxed in 2010 but five years later no skyscrapers have burst on to the skyline of the famously low-rise capital.

However the Triangle will have competition from at least two high-profile projects which are already in the pipeline: Renzo Piano’s 160m Paris Courthouse tower in the north and Jean Nouvel’s twin office and hotel towers of 180m and 120m on the Left Bank.

The Tour Triangle, to give it its official name, was rejected by the city council in November by five votes but this was declared invalid by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo who claimed political infighting had influenced the outcome.

After this week’s re-run, which was won by 87 to 74 votes, she tweeted that she was “proud and happy” that the Triangle would be realised in her city. It will be the third-tallest for now, after the Eiffel Tower and Tour Montparnasse.

The city’s residents remain divided on whether building tall is out-of-keeping and unsustainable or necessary to accommodate the city’s large population.

The €500 million trapezoidal building, which will be built in southern Paris, is longer than it is tall: 200m x 35m and 180m tall.

It will contain a 120-room hotel, 70,000sq m of office space and a bar and restaurant.

The design is credited to a long list of architects, including founding partners Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, but the partner in charge is Ascan Mergenthaler.