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Montparnesse Tower, France

Tour Montparnasse (Montparnasse Tower) is an office skyscraper located in Paris, France, in the area of Montparnasse. Constructed from 1969 to 1972, it is the tallest skyscraper in France.

Built on top of the Paris Metro station "Montparnasse-Bienvenüe", the 58 floors of the tower are mainly occupied by offices, while two floors are open to the public for viewing the city; the 56th floor with a restaurant, and the terrace on the top floor. On a clear day, the view covers a radius of 40 kilometers; aeroplanes can be seen taking off from Orly Airport. The guard-rail can be removed in only 120 seconds to allow helicopters to land.

At the time of construction, it was the highest building in Europe. The construction of La Grande Arche at La Défense places the tower in a second line of perspective across Paris: see Axe historique.

Its simple architecture, gigantic proportions and monolithic appearance have been often criticised for being out of place in Paris urban landscape and, as a result, two years after its completion the construction of skyscrapers in the city centre was banned. It is often said, only half-jokingly, that the best thing about working in the tower is that it's the only place in Paris from which the tower cannot be seen on the skyline. The design of the tower predates architectural trends that placed high importance on a view of the outside, and so only offices around the perimeter of each floor have windows (more modern skyscrapers are often designed to provide a window for every office, if possible).

In 1995, French urban climber, Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices of any kind, scaled the building's exterior glass and steel wall all the way to the top.

In 2005, studies showed that the tower contained a lot of asbestos material. Asbestos when inhaled, for instance during repairs, is a known carcinogen. As with the Jussieu Campus, the problem of removing the asbestos material from a large building used by thousands of people is acute. Projected completion times for removal are: 3 years if the building is emptied for the duration of the work, and 10 years if the building is not emptied.