The National Museum of Public Works

The Economic, Social and Environmental Council sits in the Palais d’Iena.

Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental
Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental

The architect Auguste Perret built the Palais d’Iéna to house the Musée National des Travaux Publics – National Museum of Public Works for the Exposition Internationale des Arts et des Techniques Appliqués à la Vie Moderne.

The International Exposition dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life took place from May 25 to November 25, 1937.

The National Museum of Public Works was founded in order to exhibit models of dams and bridges.

It was inaugurated in March 1939 in the wing situated along the Avenue d’Iéna, because the rest of the building was still under construction.

This wing was classified Historical Monument in 1993.

The main building and its rotunda (which houses a 300-seat conference room known as Hemicycle) were not completed until 1943 because of WWII.

However, the museum closed in 1955 due to the lack of interest from the public!

The Art Deco Palais d’Iena

The Art Deco Palais d’Iena is located at the foot of the Butte Chaillot.

It is easily recognisable for its stunning rotunda overlooking the Place d’Iéna.

The Palais d’Iéna was in fact an architectural experimentation!

Reinforced concrete, the base material, was indeed used in order to create classic volumes.

Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental - hemicycle

Slender concrete columns support the roof and a second structure.

Both frameworks are complementary and form balanced volumes.

The hemicycle was renovated in order to house the seat of the Assemblée de l’Union Francaise (colonies and overseas territories council) in 1956.

This 300-seat conference room and the superb horseshoe staircase located in the entrance hall contribute to the unusual architecture of the building.

In 1962, the architect Paul Vimond added the wing overlooking the Avenue Wilson.

That wing housed the Union de l’Europe Occidentale until 2011, when this organisation disappeared.

The latest addition to the building was the wing located along the Avenue Albert-de-Mun.

The architect Gilles Bouchez built it indeed in 1995.

Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental

Edouard Herriot founded the Conseil Economique in 1924; the commission then sat in a wing of the Palais-Royal.

Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental - Hemicycle

It was transferred to the Palais d’Iéna in 1959 and renamed Conseil Economique et Social.

The council was placed in charge of the consultation on environmental issues on July 23, 2008.

It then became known as Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental.

The Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental is a national institution composed of employers, trade unions and associations representatives.

However, it only has an advisory function.

16th district – 9 Place d’Iéna
Metro: Iéna on Line 9
Coordinates: Lat 48.864115 – Long 2.292825

Photos Wikimedia Commons: HemicycleFull view of the Hemicycle

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