Our Monument

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The Grande Arche at la Défense in Paris

La Défense's Grande Arche is a monument for our time, geometrical and blank. Its grammar enjoins monumentality but not any specific remembrance. It is impressive, dominating, even triumphal, but not in any definite sense. Like the Louvre pyramid it combines pure geometry with generic historical reference. Pure geometry is safer; more specific monuments are difficult in a multicultural, often ironic setting. Its great sweeps of steps decorate the Grande Arche's geometry with today's life, people enjoying the view and the sun.