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French Architects Win Race to Design New Olympic Landmark

Paris 2012 proudly announced the first prize of the international architecture competition launched online June 1st, 2004. Yves Pages and Benoît le Thierry d’Ennequin of Explorations Architecture will create a modern icon, to be constructed at the proposed Olympic Village, less than 3 kilometres north of the Champs Elysees.
The Explorations Architecture project - © Explorations Architecture - Paris 2012
The tower is designed to bend and move with the wind.
(© Explorations Architecture - Paris 2012)
- The prize winners, portfolio
- International architecture
competition site

Stacked up against strong competition, the innovative 80-metre, flexible and light tower, proposed by Yves Pages and Benoit le Thierry D’Ennequin was a clear winner. It will serve as the icon highlighting Paris’ Olympic ambitions and will provide visitors breathtaking views whilst being visible from everywhere in the city.
"The heart of the Olympic Movement is a mixture of human activity, natural elements and technological development", said the architects.  "To illustrate this we have designed a tower using a form and structure uniting human activity and the environment", they added.
In keeping with Paris 2012’s Olympics approach of "contained but not constrained", the tower is designed to bend and move with the wind and includes a circle of helium rings that will be illuminated at night.
Just like athletes, more than 400 designers from around the world competed in a tough race since submitting their proposals online.  The rules were very clear, the Olympic Landmark must give the site a perspective in the city, it must be a place to see from and be seen, and is intended to be temporary, environmentally friendly and deliverable in a short period of time.
The competition’s jury was headed by Deputy CEO of the Paris 2012 Bid, Essar Gabriel, and composed of an international panel of the architectural industry’s most celebrated artists and designers, including Inaki Abalos (Spain), Shigeru Ban (Japan), Stephano Boeri (Italy); Eric Carlson (USA), Peter Cook (UK); Finn Geipel (Germany); Marc Mimram (France), and Jean Nouvel (France).
The Olympic Landmark will be erected temporarily as early as December 2004 in Les Batignolles, the area in north-west Paris selected as the location for the Olympic Village should the French capital be chosen to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Olympic Monument, open to the public in January 2005, will be the first architectural project of the Paris 2012 candidature.
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