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La Tour de France

Tallest tower ever
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(+2, -4)
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Not Le tour de France, the popular bike race but "La" tour, The Tower.

A tower so tall that it could be seen from virtually everywhere in France when skys are clear. It would have a restaurant and observation deck at the top. Would also be an excellent platform for radio antennas and even scientific experiments due to it's extreme altitude. Probably also important from a military perspective.

This is the next logical step after the Eiffel Tower. It would be situated in the center of France as opposed to Paris where Eiffel's tower is.

I'm not exactly sure how to calculate the height of such a tower, perhaps someone can help? The fartest points of mainland france are about 1200km (750miles) apart. So it needs to be visible from about 600km (375miles).

Visibility through the atmosphere is limited to about 50 miles on the best days. This thing is going to be so tall that it's going to stick right through the atmosphere into the edge of space. At worst, at the extremities, on a clear evening, you should be able to see it on the horizion as the sun reflects off it.

Any speculations on what sort of materials would be needed to construct such a tower? What about the guy wires, would they need to be anchored at the extremities, 600km from the base? I'd hate to think about flying an airplane near such wires!

mgrant, Apr 12 2001

the cn tower - the world's tallest building http://www.cntower.ca
553m of canadian engineering [mihali, Apr 12 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       Use the bones of the French. Like everything else in a French(wo)mans opinion, I'm sure they are superior. Would you call the surrounding facility the "Superiority Complex"?
thumbwax, Apr 12 2001

       Reality is wimpy compared to a tower into space, but it's closer to your idea than you probably realize. On the ring road around Paris is a business park called La Défense, where innovative architecture is encouraged. The anchor building in this development is the "Grande Arche," which is a much larger scale "echo" of the other famous Paris landmark, the Arc de Triomphe. It is a massive office building in the shape of an arch. There are plans underway to build another office building there, known as the "Tour Sans Fin" (tower without end), a cylinder that should reach 400m in height, but have the highest height/diameter ratio of any office building (TV towers and the like excluded).
beauxeault, Apr 12 2001

       i read an article once about skyscrapers and their limitations. apparently, it is possible to build a skyscrpaer more than a mile high, but they would be impractical for some reasons, the most notable of which is the elevator ride to the top would be something like 15 minutes non-stop (if my memory serves me correctly). that and the cost of course. it always boils down to money, doesn't it?
mihali, Apr 12 2001

       There is also the problem of services. As the tower gets higher you have to devote more space to power, water and sewage to service the individual floors and any floors above. However thus appears to a tower built as a spectacle and therefore it might have must one resturant at the top instead of lots of occupants dispersed throughout the entire structure.
Aristotle, Apr 12 2001

       aristotle: your first sentence: makes sense. your second sentence: huh?   

       waugs: the tower's title was re-designated by the guinness book to 'world's tallest building and free standing structure'. don't ask me why. probably a marketing thing.
mihali, Apr 12 2001

       Why? Silly as it sounds, I just like the name!   

       Also, Aristotle, I was thinking of a structure like a radio antenna tower, not a building with individual floors (except at the very top and perhaps a few stops along the way).   

       Wow, I hadn't heard of La Tour Sans Fin. That's going to be quite prominent on the Parisienne skyline. 400M is, correct me if I'm wrong, taller than any of these 100 story mega buildings like the World Trade Center or Sears Tower buildings.
mgrant, Apr 12 2001

       Whilst I thought that this idea was for an office-block type building, I was going to vote in favour, just on the grounds that creating a stable foundation for it would involve bulldozing most of France. But now that I know it's just going to be another reason for the French to show off, I'm agin' it.
DrBob, Apr 12 2001

       I recently found a site which helped me calculate the height of this tower.   

       France extends 962 km (598 mi) N–S and 950 km (590 mi) E–W. r=3963 miles (radius of Earth) d=600 miles (diameter of France) height = sqrt((d^2)+(r^2))-r = 45.16 miles or 72.42km tall.   

       No, I was not thinking of a building like an office building, I was more thinking of a tower like the Eifel Tower with guy wires extending out 75 or so km in all directions.
mgrant, Aug 21 2008

       Didn't some wag once remark that the best place to be in Paris was up the Eiffel Tower because it was the only place in Paris where you couldn't see the Eiffel Tower?
mecotterill, Aug 23 2008


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