Grande Arche de la Défense, Paris. The project to build the 'Grande Arche' (Great Arch) was initiated by the French president Mitterrand. He wanted a 20th century version of the Arc de Triomphe. The design of Danish architect Otto van Spreckelsen looks more like a cube-shaped building than a triumphal arch. It is a 106 meters (348 ft) white building with the middle part left open. The sides of the cube contain offices. You can take an elevator to the top of the Arche de la Défense, from where you have a nice view on the city center which is only 4 km further.