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In pictures: A sneak peek at the Eiffel Tower’s bulletproof glass enclosure

Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes | Plans for bulletproof glass paneling in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

FRANCE 24 takes a sneak peek at plans for the future bulletproof glass enclosure to be built around the base of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, as part of a security upgrade in response to the ongoing threat of terrorism in the country.

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The nearly 3-metre-tall enclosure was announced by Paris officials last month, and will replace the landmark’s current security perimeter – made up of safety barricades – which was first put in place in 2012. It was reinforced this past summer during the 2016 UEFA European football championship amid fears the tower was a major target for terrorists.

The Paris-based architect Dietmar Feichtinger has been selected to build the enclosure. His firm, Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes, also designed the Simone de Beauvoir bridge connecting the capital’s eastern 12th and 13th arrondissements (districts), as well as the new entrance to the historic Mont Saint-Michel, in the northwest of France.

He explained that the base of the Eiffel Tower will be enclosed by bulletproof glass panelling at the front and back, and metal fencing at the sides, where visitors will be able to enter the site via public gardens.

In pictures: The Eiffel Tower's bulletproof glass enclosure
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“It’s very important to keep transparency… to keep the site open as part of the project,” Feichtinger told FRANCE 24. “I have designed the grille to incorporate the design of the Eiffel Tower. It’s more an installation in a garden that prevents people from climbing over or reaching through.”

The French-Austrian architect stressed that, like the Eiffel Tower’s original design, the enclosure will be built as a temporary structure.

“Everything we do is reversible. It’s not a definite project… We designed details that give the most transparency, and we’re quite sensitive to keeping the spirit of the site. But it’s important that it’s reversible in case you don’t want it tomorrow, you can just take it away,” Feichtinger said.

“The provisionary installation left over from the Euro is really awful. I think that’s why the [city] is asking for something different,” he added, referring to the football tournament.

Construction on the enclosure is due to begin in the autumn, and is expected to last around 10 months. It is part of a broader €300 million renovation plan to modernise the site over the next 15 years. The project also involves a complete reorganisation of foot traffic around the tower, a series of maintenance works, and an improved visiting experience, including faster queues.

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