The Grand Axis of Paris began in the Tuileries Gardens in the seventeenth century and was projected beyond the River Seine in the twentieth century, becomig the pedestrian core of a major business district. It runs through the Arc de Triomphe and culminates in the Grand Arche, a hollow office building topped with an art gallery and viewing platform. Dan Kiley, the American landscape architect and garden designer, was responsible for a 0.5 mile stretch, the Dalle Centrale, between the River Seine and the Grand Arche. It is an exercise in classical modernism, embellished with water features and other works of art. Kiley wrote that 'It is filled with large pools of water animated by jets and waterfalls, shaded seating areas, earthen bocce courts and open-air cafes.. Above ground we planted long, linear bosques of pollarded London plane trees on either side of the corridor'. He insisted on having all four rows of London plane. West of the Arche, a decked bridge extends the axis towards St-Germain-en-Laye.
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I deeply hate that kind of gardens, only created to counterbalance the ugliness of the surrounding city. They look very artificial, like an imitation of life.
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