The first tall buildings built or years outside of the Commune of Paris and La Defense are now beginning construction.
The scheme is being funded by Saudi investment fund MBI to the tune of 500 million euros and is located in the commune, or district if you don't speak French, of Levallois-Perret, one of the most densely populated areas of Paris.
Called the Levallois Twins, the design by architects Sylvain Glaiman and Pierre Epstein stars two curving 38 storey 164 metre tall towers set above a circular podium with their concaved fronts looking into the centre of the plot. Sterile white lines and contrasting glazing add to the cleanness of the look which is more corporate America than French chic.
It is being built speculatively with the main thrust of the project being some 82,000 square metres of office space. Also included is a new 400 bedroom four star hotel and least 40 new retail outlets in a 3 storey shopping mall. There will be parking for 1,600 cars will be in the basement.
For years the city had rejected building skyscrapers outside of the core area of La Defense but the construction of the Levallois Twins is one of the proposals that is seeing this policy come to an end. Whether this sees construction in La Defense which has had a virtual monopoly on skyscrapers fall or a wider building boom across Paris remains to be seen.
The scheduled completion date of the project will be sometime in 2011.
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