The Construction of a Parisian Icon | Design & Architectural Style of Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. Named after its engineer and designer, Gustave Eiffel; the tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair.
The tower is 320 meters (1,050 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-story building. It became the tallest man-made structure globally during its construction, surpassing New York City's Chrysler Building by nearly 200 feet (61 m). Learn everything about this fascinating man-made architectural wonder of the world on this page.
Architecture & Design of the Eiffel Tower | Quick Overview
Official Name: La Tour Eiffel
Attraction Type: Tower
Location: Champ de Mars, Paris
Founded: Gustave Eiffel
Area: 320 meters (length), 125 meters (width)
Architectural Style: Modern
Main Architects: Gustave Eiffel, Maurice Koechlin, Emile Nouguier, and Stephen Sauvestre.Facts about Eiffel Tower
Architectural Highlights of the Eiffel Tower
Who Designed the Eiffel Tower?
One of the world's greatest wonders, the Eiffel Tower, took only 2 years, 2 months, and 5 days to build. The engineers and architects who made it possible are:
Gustave Eiffel was a French civil engineer. Gustave Eiffel began his career as an engineer working on bridges for the French railway network. One of his most prominent works during this time was the Garabit Viaduct near Millau in southern France. His best-known work, however, might be the Eiffel Tower, which was designed by his company for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. He was also responsible for creating the metal framework for the Statue of Liberty. After his retirement, he focused on research in the fields of meteorology and aerodynamics.
Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin
Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin were two of Gustave Eiffel's chief engineers that played an important role in designing and constructing the Eiffel Tower. Koechlin was a graduate of the Zurich Polytechnikum and joined Eiffel's Compagnie des établissements Eiffel in 1879. A graduate of the École Polytechnique was employed by Eiffel et Cie, which later became the Compagnie des établissements Eiffel, in 1867. In 1887, the two engineers started working on the plans for Eiffel Tower.
Stephen Sauvestre was the architect who worked on the appearance of the Eiffel Tower. He was commissioned by Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, who were concerned about its reception by the public. He added embellishments in the form of decorative arches on the base and the glass pavilion on the first level, and the cupola at the stop. These embellishments made the tower look more impressive. It was these additions that convinced Eiffel, who was hesitant at the start, to go ahead with the project.
Eiffel Tower Architectural Style & Design
The Eiffel Tower, designed by Gustave Eiffel, marked a clear departure from the Neo-Gothic, Neo-Renaissance, and Neo-Baroque styles that were prevalent in the 18th and 19th centuries. The inspiration for the design came from the Latting Observatory built in New York City in 1853.
The original sketch by Keochlin depicted the tower as "a great pylon, consisting of four lattice girders standing apart at the base and coming together at the top, joined together by metal trusses at regular intervals".
The tower is an open-lattice iron structure with four massive arched legs. It is set on masonry columns that curve inward and meet in a single, tapered tower. Each pier rests on four concrete slabs. The tower is made of 18,000 pieces accurate to a tenth of millimeters that has been joined together by 2,500,000 rivets. Each and every piece used in the tower was manufactured especially for it in Eiffel’s factory located at Levallois-Perret on the outskirts of Paris.
The Structure of Eiffel Tower, Paris
French engineer Gustave Eiffel designed the Eiffel Tower to demonstrate that wrought iron could be as strong as stone while being lighter. The tower resembles to the shape of a pyramid but with slightly curved sides. The four-sided tower is divided into four parts based on the height: the lower part, between the floor and the first floor (57.63 m), the second part, between the first and second floor (115.73 m from the ground), the third, between the second and third floor (located at 276.13 m) and the fourth from the third to the top (324 m above ground). The first part is characterized by four distinct pillars, and from the second floor, these pillars merge into a single column that rises to the top.
There are 108 stories with 1,710 steps. However, visitors can only climb stairs to the first platform. There are two elevators—the first powered by hydraulics and the second by electricity. The tower weighs 10,000 tons and has 5 billion lights on it. The Eiffel Tower was one of the first examples of modern architecture because of its use of iron rather than stone or brick.
Highlights of Eiffel Tower Architecture
The material chosen to erect a tower 1,000 feet high was iron for many reasons; it was more realistic than a wooden or stone tower and reinforced concrete was not popular at the time. Puddled iron is created produced in blast furnaces, as a result of which excess carbon is removed. This process makes the iron more durable, and yet lighter and less rigid than steel. The metal framework alone weighs 7,300 tons. In order to extend the lifespan of the tower, it is painted every seven years.
Wind Resistant Design
While building such a tall structure, the engineers behind the tower were aware that the tower needed to be able to withstand wind. Eiffel used empirical methods to determine the effects of wind and graphical methods to calculate the strength of the tower. Keeping this in mind, the tower was designed to minimize wind resistance. However, when the winds are strong, the Eiffel Tower sways by up to 9 cm (3.5 in).
Lifts to the Top
Since the opening of the Eiffel Tower for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, visitors have been able to access the various levels of the tower by taking the lift. At the time, five hydraulic elevators went into operation. A decade later, this technology was modernized and has changed several times since. Two of the original lifts are still in service on the Eiffel Tower. It takes an average of 8 minutes and 50 seconds to complete a round trip and annually, they cover 103,000 kilometers.Riding the Eiffel Elevators
Along the frieze that runs along the four sides of the tower, you will find engravings of the names of 72 French scientists, engineers, and mathematicians in recognition of their contributions to the building of the tower. He wanted the future visitors to view the names of those who were behind the creation of this important tower. At the beginning of the 20th century, the engravings were painted over, but they were restored in 1986–87. Unfortunately, not a single name belongs to a woman. Some popular names that appear here include: Monge, Cuvier, Laplace, Ampère, Lavoisier, Gay-Lussac, Arago, Bichat, Daguerre, and Le Verrier.
Experience the tranquility of splendid gardens, ornamental ponds, and fountains in Trocadéro, located opposite the River Seine. The garden provides excellent angles for the perfect photograph of the Eiffel Tower. You can also find an aquarium and an ice-skating rink on the premises.
Created in 1937, the garden boasts its magnificent Warsaw Fountain, massive sculptures, and a central fountain with 20 water jets. You can experience a mesmerizing view of the fountains and the lights melting into your Parisian evening amidst some world-famous sculptures like the “Man” by Traverse and the “Woman” by Bacqué.Visit the Eiffel Tower Gardens
Visit Eiffel Tower in Paris
Frequently Asked Questions about the Eiffel Tower Architecture
A. The Eiffel Tower architecture was constructed in modern style.
A. Gustave Eiffel designed the Eiffel Tower with help from engineers Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers working at Eiffel's company.
A. The Eiffel Tower architecture is famous because of its height and unique construction using puddle iron.
A. The Eiffel Tower was inspired by the Latting Observatory in New York.
A. The Eiffel Tower was built in 1887.
A. The Eiffel Tower is 135 years old.
A. There are three floors inside the Eiffel Tower comprising eateries, shops, and a champagne bar.
A. The exterior of the Eiffel Tower is made of wrought iron.
A. The Eiffel Tower is divided into three floors, consisting of some restaurants, shops, and a champagne bar, apart from observation decks that offer some of the best views of Paris.
A. The Eiffel Tower is 1,050 feet tall with a width of 410 feet.
A. The Eiffel Tower is 1,050 feet tall and 410 feet in width.
A. The Eiffel Tower is made out of puddled iron.
A. Yes, the Trocadero Gardens is just across the tower.
A. Gabriel Davioud Designed the Trocadero Gardens.
- A. You can buy tickets to the Eiffel Tower online. You can buy Eiffel Tower tickets here.