The Eiffel Tower’s Giant Lily Pad


I’m just saying – that’s what it looks like. It’s as if a giant lily pad was falling from the sky, and got stuck to the Eiffel Tower’s spire…my ninjas, please.

The proposal is a design by SERERO Architects for an extended observation deck on the tower’s uppermost platform. The addition would be a 589 square meter, 1.3 million euro, carbon kevlar/metal mesh structure that would allow for 1,700 visitors per hour in the new third level space.


Described by SERERO as ‘suffering from its success’, the Eiffel Tower receives millions of visitors who are forced to wait, on average, 35 minutes to over an hour to travel to the top – which an estimated 95% of visitors want to do [I hoofed it up the stairs, my ninjas – against my will – and it was crazy].

Due to the tower’s success/draw, the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel has decided to ‘restructure the public reception and access areas of the tower’ for the 120th anniversary of the structure – and SERERO is proposing this lily pad viewing platform, which would be a temporary attachment to the tower.


When Gustave Eiffel designed the tower, he imagined that the tower would become the support of a great variety of scientific devices and experimentations to study gravity and wind pressure. The structure of the tower was therefore designed for increase of its weight. During World War I, the tower was holding antennas to retransmit radio wave to the whole country. Structural simulation of the Eiffel tower indicates that it is a highly hyperstatic structure, which is dimensioned for a weight higher than what it is supporting today.

Our project will extend the top floor plate of the tower by grafting a high performance carbon Kevlar structure on it. The structure will be temporarily bolted to the slab without requiring any modification of the existing structure. It will expand the usable floor area from 280 m2 to 580m2. The extension is composed of 2 slabs connected to the third floor deck as well as the upper level used as an apartment of Mister Eiffel (a space provided for temporary resting of Gustave Eiffel) [via SERERO].


The platform actually kind of reminds me of a something Hoberman would design – as if the structure of the tower had folded down/in upon itself, flattening to extend the viewing platform to allow for more visitors. Now there’s an idea for you – lets automate this thing, so the top of the tower only flattens/extends during peak usage hours…


::Info + images from SERERO Architects::

Posted: March 27th, 2008
at 5:00am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,featured ninjas,towering pagodas,news

Comments: 7 comments


7 Responses to 'The Eiffel Tower’s Giant Lily Pad'

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  1. looks like a heck of a lot of superfluous structure… won’t all that crap get in the way of all the ‘observing’ going on?

    an observation platform that restricts observation… nice concept.


    27 Mar 08 at 12:40 pm


  2. True – it does seem as if it would restrict some viewing. I don’t know how much of what we see here is superfluous, and how much of it is necessary for the platform to be structurally sound and match the architect’s design/concept – but I would need to see some perspectives looking out over the city that convinced me that it wasn’t blocking too much of the view [which wasn’t available on their website].

    In the last image, it does look like the structure is pretty light/transparent as it fans out tho…I’m interested to learn more.

    Mostly I just find it ridiculous looking.


    27 Mar 08 at 1:14 pm


  3. it’s a cool idea, the aesthetics just don’t do anything for me. They should really be less foreign to the tower.

    Mark Anthony

    28 Mar 08 at 1:25 pm


  4. The idea of allowing more people simultaneously enjoy the view from atop the tower seems an admirable goal. But it is pretty obvious from the renderings I’ve seen that the structure itself would make it impossible to have a clear view of many of the landmarks of Paris which are relatively close to the tower. Let’s hope that this IS a hoax.


    3 Apr 08 at 11:20 am


  5. I Personaly Think The Lilly pad looks hidous and if the ORGINAL disier wanted a gaint pad on the top of it he would have built it then and there 😐


    2 Sep 08 at 5:30 am


  6. its alright it kinda looks unsafe but other then that its pretty cool,


    3 Sep 08 at 6:16 pm


  7. it looks like a clover


    25 Oct 08 at 8:55 am



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