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Paris u-turns on Herzog & de Meuron 'triangle tower'

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Herzog & de Meuron’s £430 million ‘triangle tower’ has been approved by the Council of Paris in a surprise u-turn

The French capital’s governing council narrowly approved the contentious 180-metre skyscraper on Tuesday (30 June) by 87 votes in favour and 74 against.

The surprise move came more than seven months after the body initially rejected the scheme – officially known as the Tour Triangle – by 78 votes in favour and 83 votes against.

At the time, Paris’ left-leaning mayor Anne Hidalgo claimed the vote was invalid because conservative councillors opposing the scheme breached secrecy rules and exposed their ballots.

Hidalgo – who supported the tower scheme –asked an administrative tribunal to look into the decision and the latest ballot was completed in private.

Planned to complete in 2017, the Porte de Versailles skyscraper will become the third tallest tower in central Paris.

Construction of towers has been limited in the city since the 209-metre Montparnasse Tower completed in 1972, sparking controversy over changes to the skyline.

No towers have been built in central Paris in more than 40 years and the city’s tallest structure remains the 324-metre Eiffel Tower which opened in 1889.

Herzog & de Meuron’s 42-storey scheme is expected to host around 5,000 jobs and feature offices, shops, an observation platform and a panoramic restaurant at the top.

According to a 2012 statement by the practice the tower will reconnect Porte de Versailles to the city and restore an historic axis formed by the rue de Vaugirard and avenue Ernest Renan.

The statement said: ‘It will not only be a landmark from which the urban panorama can be experienced, but also an outstanding silhouette in the system of axes and monuments of the city.’

Images of the scheme were first revealed almost six years ago.

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