La Grande Arche de la is a monument and building in the business district of La Défense and in the commune of Puteaux, to the west of Paris. It is usually known as the Arche de la Défense or simply as La Grande Arche. A great national design competition was launched in 1982 as the initiative of French president François Mitterrand. Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen (1929–1987) and Danish engineer Erik Reitzel designed the winning entry to be a late-20th-century version of the Arc de Triomphe: a monument to humanity and humanitarian ideals rather than military victories. The construction of the monument began in 1985.