Through Ivan CAPECCHI
updated on 13 Oct 21 at 19:19
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On the occasion of the cinema release, this Wednesday, October 13, 2021, of the film Eiffel, with Romain Duris, Emma Mackey and Pierre Deladonchamps, News Strasbourg invites you to come back to a lesser-known part of the history of this emblematic monument of Paris: its conception comes from an Alsatian, Maurice Koechlin.
A project born in anticipation of the Universal Exhibition of 1889
Maurice Koechlin, born in Buhl (Haut-Rhin) in 1856, studied in a high school in Mulhouse before joining the polytechnic school in Zurich. Later, he will join the company founded by Gustave Eiffel.
The official website of the Eiffel Tower traces its construction. « The project of a 300-meter tower was born on the occasion of the preparation of the Universal Exhibition of 1889 », it is thus recalled.
« A very high tower designed like a large pylon »
« The object of the competition launched during the exhibition is to » study the possibility of erecting on the Champ-de-Mars an iron tower, with a square base, 125 meters sideways and 300 meters high » . Chosen among 107 projects, it is that of Gustave Eiffel, entrepreneur, Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, engineers and Stephen Sauvestre, architect who is retained ”, recalls the site.
Émile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin then “had the idea in June 1884 of a very high tower, designed as a large pylon made up of four lattice beams spaced apart at the base and meeting at the top, linked together by metal beams. arranged at regular intervals ”.
A first version which does not convince Eiffel
In her book entitled « The exploit of Gustave Eiffel », Hélène Montardre reminds that Eiffel is not convinced by the first version proposed by Nouguier and Koechlin. “The Eiffel company also has an architect, Stephen Sauvestre. They offer to put the project in shape. The new drawing that they submit to Eiffel some time later is much more attractive, ”notes the author, however.
“Eiffel contemplates the project. […] He was so convinced that on September 18, 1884, he filed a patent in the name of Eiffel, Nouguier and Koechlin, ”she continues.
Work will begin on January 26, 1887 and end on March 31, 1889.
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