On 6th October 2014 the mayor of Paris inaugurated the newly renovated first floor of the Eiffel Tower, designed by Moatti & Rivière. One of the most crowd-pleasing element is the glass skywalk, engineered and constructed by Bellapart, which encircles the central opening of the tower giving a new perspective on the city of Paris.
The new floor allows visitors to walk 57 meters over the void and gradually increases transparency from the interior towards the central space providing an impressive experience. The glass deck is composed of three layer low-iron laminated safety glass with an anti-slip dotted frit on the top surface and a typical dimension of 1.85 m x 0.7 m. The use of glass in such elements demanded thorough testing and structural redundancy.
The slightly inclined safety glass balustrade protects the interior perimeter and includes a hinge mechanism for cleaning both sides of the barrier and a serrated top edge to prevent climbing and birds. The refurbishment also incorporates the North and West lift shaft. The façades have a square base with round angles and follow the obliquity of the tower’s piers. Double curved glass was used to achieve the desired transparent surface. The substantial dimensions of the glass units and the confined work space required great skill and care in its installation.
The nature of the project implied significant constraints during the construction works. Since The Eiffel Tower is protected as a historical monument, welding to the existing structure was not allowed. Clip systems or bolted connections were employed to hold the new structures and special attention was taken to prevent the interference with the large number of existing rivets. On the other hand, during the works, the tower was never closed to the public.