Thursday, September 10, 2015


Le Centre National des Industries et Techniques (CNIT) was inaugurated in 1958, the first building to be constructed in what would later become Paris' modern new business district at La Défense. The building's shape was determined by the triangular plot of land it occupied. Three enormous concrete footings were poured to support the undulating vaulted concrete roof. For twenty or so years after it opened, the CNIT's large triangular space under the vaulted roof hosted trade shows and conferences.

I think I was standing on the steps of the Grande Arche de la Défense when I took this.

In 1988, the building, now surrounded by office towers and a vast public plaza built over a network of subway and rail stations, was gutted and renovated. It was re-opened as the Centre des Nouvelles Industries et Technologies (still le CNIT). Office buildings and a hotel were built under the roof, totally transforming the space that was deemed insufficient for modern trade shows. It was after this renovation that I saw the interior -- the only time I've been inside the building -- and when I took this photo of the roof being power-washed.

The building was renovated again in 2006, still with office buildings inside, but re-built to better highlight the original vaulted roof and to improve connections to the outdoor plaza above and the pedestrian corridors and rail facilities below. I feel like I should go back and see it again the next time I'm in Paris.


  1. Yes, you should. And give us updated photos. Thank you!

  2. It is fascinating to see buildings change and age over time in photographs.

  3. mitch, be careful what you ask for! ;)

    bettyann, next chance I get...

    michael, I agree.

  4. It looks like anteaters on an angel's wing. Lovely, and as always with you, and unusual view.

    1. christine, well there's something I never thought of! LOL


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