Saturday, December 30, 2017


The Université de Pierre et Marie Curie is a modern university campus constructed in the 1960s close to the river in Paris' Fifth Arrondissement. It's built on the site of a former abbey (destroyed in the early 19th century) and the old Halle aux vins (the Paris Wine Market). The architecture of the main buildings is striking, typical of the modern influence, a rectangular grid of buildings set above a podium, with a 29-story tower punctuating the center.

The base of the Tour Zamansky, set at right angles to the rest of the campus, seen in 2011.

The tower is named for Marc Zamansky, a directing member of Paris' school of the sciences in the 1960s. I never knew the building by that name. Indeed, what I've read is that most Parisians call it the Tour de Jussieu (Jussieu Tower) or simply la tour (the tower). Jussieu is the name of a prominent family of research scientists and doctors who worked and taught at the university in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The tower was stripped down to it's steel skeleton between 2004 and 2009 to remove asbestos. Once renovated, it became home to the university's administrative offices.


  1. Glass towers can be so aesthetic and I do like the fact that this is turned at a right angle to the other buildings.

  2. I often only recognize the names of these Parisian places and famous people, by the fact that there is a Métro stop with that name :) Jussieu, for example.

    I loved that photo yesterday of the Métro station -- the mix of colors and the moving train... so good.


  3. mitch, if you look closely, you might see words inscribed on some of the glass panels. Cool!

    judy, so many of the stations have been renovated over the years and are much more colorful than they used to be.

  4. Hi Walt, Happy New Year to you and Ken. Do you remember what Jussieu looked like before they renovated it? It was ugly. I taught there during the renovation, before the Déscartes campus (Paris VII) moved to la Grande Halle near the TGB Mitterand. Jussieu still houses the Pierre et Marie Campus (Paris VI).


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