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Getting a Better Head for Heights

10 October 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970

The Eiffel Tower, which attracts over 7 million people a year, has had its first floor refurbished with a stunning glass floor, included solar and become far more accessible to the disabled


The inauguration of the first floor was performed by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris (pictured), with its renovated buildings, ‘discovery circuit’ and spectacular glass floor 57m above Paris.

The two-year old project cost €30 million and set out to make the first floor not only fully accessible but to be a stunning experience as well.

Now, thanks to the imaginative designs of French architects, Moatti-Rivière, the Eiffel Tower has a toughened glass floor where people can appear to be walking, or floating, on air and there have been plenty of selfies taken to demonstrate it.

The brief by the operator, SETE, and undertaken by the main contractor, Bateg, was:

  • The rebuilding of the reception and conference rooms to turn it into one of Paris’ most attractive event spaces
  • Rebuilding the pavilion dedicated to visitor services, particularly restaurants and shops
  • Creating an entertaining and educational ‘museographic path’
  • Creating two spectacular attractions
  • Discovering space on the monument and its esplanade with the toughened glass flooring and balustrades and an ‘immersion film’

The Gustave Eiffel pavilion on the north/east side has been rebuilt with the creation of a reception/conference room specially designed for professional events (entrance area, reception area, scenographic logistics, office, storage and service areas).

The Ferrié pavilion on the south/west side now is said to have facilities dedicated to visitor services with event and interpretative space, restaurants and shopping.

To bring the area up to current Building Regulations, there are solar panels with glass barriers inclined outwards to accentuate the sense of greater space and blend with the sweep on the overall structure. In terms of recycling, there is now a system of capturing rainwater to help service the restaurant toilets there.

Importantly, there is now full access for the disabled, including restaurant facilities and other attractions now to enjoy on the first floor.

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 10 October 2014


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