CNIT (Centre National des Industries et des Techniques)

Robert Camelot, Jean de Mailly and Bernard Zehrfuss with Nicolas Esquillan, structural engineer
1954-58



Unique building with a triangular vault

Although the idea of a business district at La Défense had a decades-old history, the building of this exhibition hall in the mid-50's was a stimulus for additional development. The architects who designed this building were on a planning committee to continue development. This early building was originally designed as an exhibition hall, and as such it has the world's largest concrete vault. When constructed much of the area was still suburban structures (later demolished to make room for office space) so its site was a restricted triangle. Thus, the vault is triangular, then supported at the three apexes. It has since been reengineered for reasons of safety. In addition, it has been remodelled as a multi-use facility--with a shopping center, hotel, and other commercial spaces.
 


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© 2007 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. (I would appreciate being told if you find them useful.) They are not available for commercial purposes without my explicit permission.