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Firms Shortlisted for Eiffel Tower Area Project

Friday, May 11, 2018

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In the latest move to update the amenities of the Eiffel Tower’s public space, four firms were shortlisted out of 42 applicants for the next phase of the 10-month design contest.

The list includes Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A), working in collaboration with U.K. landscape architect Gross.Max; U.K. landscape architect Gustafson Porter + Bowman; Agence Ter, working with Carlo Ratti Associati; Koz architects; and Explorations Architecture.

Cezary p, CC-BY-SA-4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of this overall facelift for the Eiffel Tower and its relevant property is repainting the iconic monument itself—set to take three years, with officials debating about taking the Tower back to its original bright red.

The update to public amenities includes plans for increased safety, reducing line times and improving overall tourist experience, all slated for completion by 2023, in time for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The project will also factor in plans for overhauling the fllow of surrounding public transportation, as well as buses, boats and cars.

"The Tour Eiffel is a national symbol etched into a global consciousness and its iconography is understood across generations and cultures,” said AL_A director Amanda Levete.

“We are [honored] to be given the opportunity to engage with the City of Paris to reimagine and improve the experience for everyone of Paris’s most iconic and beloved landmark.”

Tower Painting

In addition to renovations on the public property surrounding the tower, another facet of the project is repainting the iconic monument itself—set to take three years, with officials debating about taking the Tower back to its original bright red.

According to The Local, after an original "Venetian red" shop-applied coating on its iron structure, the Eiffel Tower was painted an orange yellow at its base and light yellow at the top in 1899, and from 1907 to 1954, the monument was a yellow-brown. In 1968, it was repainted brown-red. To date, the structure has had 19 different paint jobs, and with the 20th set to start this year, bringing the structure back to its red roots is being discussed.

The original coating was composed of bright red iron minium from Venice and flaxseed oil. Currently, the structure is painted a specially designed shade of brown.

According to Traveller, the Eiffel Tower is repainted every seven years, by hand, and will take 60 tons of paint to cover the 10,000-ton structure. The last repainting, which began in 2010, reportedly used an iron-oxide pigment from Lanxess AG to color a two-coat urethanized alkyd system.

All of these projects are part of larger $358.1 million overhaul of the site, slated for completion in 2032.

   

Tagged categories: Historic Preservation; Historic Structures; Monuments; Paint application

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (5/11/2018, 11:19 AM)

Hmmmm...so they re-coat the tower every 7 years by hand with 60 tons of paint and there have been 19 paint jobs (soon to be 20). So the 10,000 ton structure will soon have 1,200 tons of paint on it? That's a lot of paint (12% of it's mass)! Perhaps, just perhaps, they need to shut it down for 12-18 months, strip a thousand tons of paint off, check for structural issues, repair any issues they find and then apply a good coatings job that can extend the service interval for a while before they start this whole hand coating process again.


Comment from Ted Mathieu , (5/12/2018, 8:47 AM)

What is the solids content of the paints used? How much is worn off over the years?


Comment from Marc Hirsch, (5/14/2018, 10:04 AM)

I agree with Mr. Halliwell, although I can't believe that there hasn't ever been scraping of old flaking paint. But why hand painted? And why was the last system used a two-coat urethanized alkyd? How about a fluoropolymer topcoat? And if a micaceous iron oxide pigment or other specialty were used I could understand mentioning it.


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