The Grande Arche de la Fraternité is a monument in the business district of La Défense to the west of Paris. It is usually known as the Arche de la Défense or simply as La Grande Arche. An international design competition was launched at the initiative of French president François Mitterrand. Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen (1929–1987) designed the winning entry to be a 20th century version of the Arc de Triomphe: a monument to humanity and humanitarian ideals rather than military victories. Construction of the monument began in 1982. After Spreckelsen's death in 1987, his associate, French architect Paul Andreu, completed the work in 1989/90. The Arche is almost a perfect cube (width: 108m, height: 110m, depth: 112m; it has been suggested that the structure looks like a four-dimensional hypercube (a tesseract) projected onto the three-dimensional world). It has a prestressed concrete frame covered with glass and Carrara marble from Italy and was built by the French civil engineering company Bouygues.
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