The next iconic building in our Building Blocks series is in the form of a huge glass and metal structure, namely The Louvre Pyramid.
It is interesting to note the reason it was built. It was commissioned by President Mitterand in 1985, as a new visitor entrance to the Louvre complex, as the Louvre’s original main entrance was struggling with the huge number of visitors. People now enter through the pyramid, going down into a lobby area and then going up into the main Louvre buildings.
As you can imagine, due to its futuristic look, the thought of this 20m tall, glass edifice caused a great deal of consternation. People worried that it would not be in keeping with the classical architecture of the Louvre.
Designed by Ming Pei, construction went ahead and the pyramid was completed in 1989. The Louvre Pyramid stands 20.6m tall, with sides measuring 35m. It is covered with 673 pieces of lightly tinted glass to match the honey-coloured stone facades of the Louvre itself.
Whether the contrasting styles merge successfully is open to debate but as a glass building in its own right, the Louvre Pyramid stands proud!