Have you seen the massive glass and metal structure erected right in front of the age-old Louvre Museum? First off, it happens to form a stark contrast with the latter. When visiting the world-famous museum as part of your Louvre guided tour, there are a few reasons why you would want to take a second look at this pyramid. Besides the fact that it has become a major landmark in Paris, the glass pyramid has many interesting facts surrounding it.
This is almost as tall as a normal two-storied structure, measuring 72 feet by 116 feet at its base, and covering a base surface area of 11000 square feet. It has 128 steel girders and 16 steel cables that hold the structure together. The glass pyramids consist of 603 rhombus-shaped segments alongside roughly 70 triangular ones.
This building was built in 1989, by Chinese American architect Leon Ming Pei, though the project called ‘Grand Louvre’ to erect them was proposed way back in 1981 by François Mitterrand, who was then French President. There was only a single person in the mind of François Mitterrand when it came time for choosing the architect.
Protest Against its Construction
Before its inception, there was a brief protest from critics, who said the modern structure would ruin the orthodox look of the palace. Even in the polls regarding whether the thing should be built or not, a vast majority of Parisian voted against.
A Strangely Unique Structure
Pyramids resolved the problems of packed visitors at the entrance, with the whole U shaped building. As earlier, the museum struggled to manage the growing number of visitors. Pei wanted the pyramids to be unique, and not coincide with the classic looks of the Louvre Palace. The large Pyramid is surrounded by three small pyramids and a beautiful reflecting pool.
The Architecture Resolved Many Issues
This pyramid became a spot for accessing three of the wings in the museum. The whole structure is transparent in nature. The designers were very keen on making it that way, avoiding the steel girders from posing a barrier to the intended clean view.
Besides the three pyramids, there is yet another inverted pyramid set into the Louvre Museum. This was built in 1993, and accommodates a modern shopping mall known as Carrousel du Louvre. The smaller versions were planned by an American architects Pei Cobb Freed and Partners. The inverted pyramid structure suspended in the indoor of the museum, sets a beautifully peculiar view, especially of the small erect stone pyramid.