Will Foster's Paris Twin Towers get the go ahead?

Two 323 metre-high skyscrapers designed by Foster+Partners could change the shape of Paris skyline
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Fosters + Partners' Hermitage Plaza
Fosters + Partners' Hermitage Plaza

Could a Russian-backed high-rise complex, designed by a prominent English architecture practice, and situated in the city's financial district, ween cultured Parisians away from their traditional, parquet-floored apartments?

Lord Foster's practice characterises the newly proposed Hermitage Plaza as "a distinctive symbol for a new urban destination on the Paris skyline." Reuters reports that the developer, the Russian-born Emin Iskenderov of the Hermitage Group, aims to "create a Manhattan in the French style in La Defense." The proposed towers, each with over 90 floors, will house a spa, hotel and art gallery, as well as numerous luxury apartments. If built, they will tower over London's Shard by a good ten metres. 

Ardent Francophiles might baulk at the notion of two massive blocks in the French capital. However, La Defense, outside the traditional city limits, is already home to a number of fairly anonymous office blocks, making Lord Foster's additions more welcome here than in the first arrondissement.

Having received approval back in March of this year, the only thing holding back work starting on the towers back is financing. As Reuters reports, Iskenderov requires a €1.2 billion to fund the construction. The 36-year-old developer says he will have financing in place by next January, and aims to complete the project by 2019. For more news, Parisians, watch the skies.


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