Long before “Nouvelles Technologies” meant IT and Telecoms to most people, Le CNIT was built to relieve the centre of Paris from the traffic jams caused by the exhibitions in the Grand Palais, the main exhibition centre of the time.
On this image (from the EPAD Website) you can see the CNIT next to the original “Rond Point de la Défense”. The pedestrian platform of La Défense did not yet exist. The current third major renovation of the CNIT will again open a view to the lower levels that have been hidden by the construction of this platform, le Parvis.

La Défense arial view (EPAD) This aerial view (also from the EPAD Website) shows today’s construction and gives you an idea of the change.

Some of my own “historical” images of the CNIT are not yet scanned. They show the building without some of the latest towers surrounding it.
The landscape will change again dramatically with the new ''Tour Phare''.

Here are some reflections of the CNIT revealing two of its three facades.

CNIT - Tours Areva et Total - Le pouce de César

A reflection of the CNIT in Les Collines de l’Arche, pulling together the major landmarks in dense packing: Apart from the CNIT, one can see the towers of Areva and Total, and the thumb sculpture by César. This view will disappear with the construction of the new Tour Phare.

CNIT - Tours Areva et Total A variation of the same theme without the sculpture
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CNIT Tours Areva et Total - Le Pouce de César And a more panoramic view of the same spot. (Click on the image to enlarge)
Any preferences?

CNIT et Tour Total dans le coté de l'Arche

This is the same side of the CNIT, this time reflected in the side of La Grande Arche. In the upper left corner, you can see the windows of La Grande Arche underneath the exterior glass panels.

Double Reflection: CNIT and other buildings reflecting in la Grande Arche and then in les Collines de l'Arche Here we have the “front side” of the CNIT, towards the Parvis, the main pedestrian area, in a double reflection: The image is captured in the glass panes of the side of La Grande Arche, and is then reflected in a glass front of Les Collines de l’Arche. (That is why you can properly read the company name on the Areva tower.)

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CNIT dans OPUS12 - Arche
Again the “front side” of the CNIT (You have seen this photograph already in an earlier posting.) This is probably the view most people know.
(Click on the image to enlarge)

Déchirures - Tour EDF dans le CNIT

Déchirures”: Tour EDF is reflected in the “front side” of the CNIT – and “torn apart” in the process.


Pistes”: Here we have the roof structure of the CNIT reflected in the glass roof of the entrance to the RER and Metro train stations. In the reflection it looks like a ski slope.

Le PitétonLe Piéton”: Take another look at this image of the CNIT and La Grande Arche: Most people don’t recognise it because of the strange “structure” of the roof. At the top of the roof, you can see the real shape, and the dirt tracks show you how the structure goes on from top to bottom. The broad bands of light that suggest a different shape of the roof, come from the window panes of the half round Tour Sequoia (now SFR). These reflected light bands also light up the right shoulder of the pedestrian – from the “wrong side”. This “double lighting” gives the image its unreal effect.
(Click on the image to enlarge)


Traumbriefkasten”: The lonely person sitting in the evening light on the balustrade gives the image a melancholic air. The letterbox in the façade of “Maison de la Défense” gave rise to the title of the image: “Dream Letterbox”.