Eiffel redesign will tower above Paris … but why does it need it?

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In 1980, the BBC played an April Fool on the world by saying that Big Ben was to be replaced with a digital readout, the corporation’s Japanese service even going as far to announce that the arms of the world-famous clock would go on sale, which apparently solicited a few bids. You could be forgiven for thinking that April had come early this year when you lean that another world-famous building was about to receive a makeover. It’s just been announced in Paris, that the Eiffel Tower is planning a major redesign of its viewing platform, something that will alter the Parisian skyline as dramatically as a digital clock over Westminster.

Serero Architecture Research Group has won a competition to attach a cantilevered carbon fibre platform to the top of one of the world’s truly iconic buildings. It’s certainly a beautiful structure, reminiscent of the underside of a chanterelle mushroom, or perhaps the twirling petticoats beneath a can-can skirt. It’s temporary structure is also in keeping with the spirit of the original, but does Gustaf Eiffel’s tower remotely need it? Redesigning it is not so much a case of gilding the lilly, as retrofitting the rose.