In his comment on the posting “La Défense - a bit of history” (11/02), my cousin Dirk deducted with the logic of a mathematician that the Symbol of La Défense had to be La Grande Arche, the only building probably known to everyone. (He is not a football fan, but I could not resist including this image that most tourist probably never see, aligning the Grande Arche and the "little arch". Click on the thumbnail image above to enlarge it.) For my friend Catherine it is the Calder statue:

Calder fille

In 5 years from now, it will probably be the new Tour Phare: The project is explicitly aiming at creating a new symbol for the area.

Tell me your opinions the subject.

I continue to think that a combination of CNIT and Grande Arche would make a nice symbol. For example the image “le Piéton” that my photographer-friend Partick Bezzolato considers the best photograph I ever made. Unfortunately, the pedestrian in the image cannot pass as a “La Défense business man”. Hence the image is perhaps less iconic than it should be.
The image “Mondrianesque” (on the 11/02 posting) also combines CNIT and Arche, but it only contains “graphical extracts” of both. This extreme “pars pro toto” may be a bit too abstract for a recognisable icon?
(Click on the images to enlarge them)

Le Pitéton Mondrianesque

Here are a few more suggestions. I am curious to read your opinions.

Another rather abstract treatment of the Arche: The reflection of La Grande Arche in the shopping centre “Les 4 Temps” leads to an intersection of "arches".


In the next images, La Grande Arche is quite recognizable, reflected in the “Opus 12” tower together with a part of the elegant tower that famous architect Pei built for EDF. And a variation on the same theme, including some business people. (Opus12 was built around the bare bones that remained of the former Crédit Lyonnais tower after a lengthy period of "deconstruction")

Click on the images to enlarge them

Arche EDF Opus12 Arche EDF Opus12 II

And another variation on the theme including the CNIT (but without the EDF tower):

CNIT Arche in Opus12

I discovered this reflection of the Arche on a recent walk to the outer edges of La Défense (the end of Cour Valmy). It is the back of the Arche (and it looks at bit like its back side):

Arche Back Side

The "outer edges" of La Défense currently look like this. You can already recognise the future continuation of the axis Louvre – Grande Arche beyond the cemetery in Nanterre:

La Défense outer edges