Not for the faint of heart
The new glass floor – 57 meters above the ground – is the latest attraction at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The renovation was perfectly timed for the 125th anniversary of the „Iron Lady“. Since October 2014 the specially produced glass panels from GLASSOLUTIONS ECKELT in Steyr give an unprecedented view downwards.
Attraction for tourists from around the globe
More than 250 million people have visited the three platforms of the 324 meter high tower since it first opened 125 years ago. As part of a renovation, the 5,400 m² area of the first level of the Eiffel tower was proposed by Agentur Moatti-Rivière Architectes to bring a new perspective on the city, in which they transformed the previously unnoticed floor into one of the most spectacular and best attractions Paris now has to offer. This goal was achieved by introducing a glass balustrade around the the central opening of the tower and adding a glass floor right next to it – giving an extraordinary view of the city below and also the tower itself..
A techical masterpiece
For the construction of the 130 m² walkable glass surface - GLASSOLUTIONS ECKELT together with the central Research and Development – CRDC of SAINT-GOBAIN developed the product LITE-FLOOR XTRA GRIP [>]. The goal was to achieve maximum transparency through the glass whilst not compromising the required slip-resistance aspect of the floor.
GLASSOLUTIONS ECKELT from Austria produced 64 geometrically different glass panels. The 32 mm thick LITE-FLOOR [>] glass sheets are comprised of 3-layer laminated safety glass with structurally enhancing interlayers. Each glass element is able to withstand loads of up to 500 kg/m² and provide the greatest level of safety for the visiting masses. The specially developed screenprint XTRA GRIP ensures sufficient protection and slip-resistance. The high level of quality in the print on the LITE-FLOOR XTRA GRIP glass elements combines the exceptional mechanical and aesthetic characteristics of the new product.
Modern and ecologic
The renovation of the first floor took about two years and cost around 30 million Euro. Apart from the spectacular glass floor, the retail and restaurant areas were also modernised as well as a museum honouring the original designer Gustave Eiffel. With solar cells and wind wheels to generate power, the first floor is a great example of ecologic design. Before the renovation, many tourists were only interested in going up to the highest platform at 276 meters – close to the top of the tower. The vertiginous experience of the glass floor richly increases the attraction of the first level now bringing many more visitors to see what it’s like.
Photos: SAINT-GOBAIN / Johanna Leguere