The history of the Centre International de Deauville

Photo du C.I.D en 1992

Deau­ville was born in 1858 around the church of Saint Laurent, it had only a hun­dred inhab­it­ants, all loc­ated on the hill of Mont Canisy. After a stay in Trouville-sur-mer, the Duke of Morny, half-broth­er of Napo­leon III, fell under the spell of the marshes and the beach loc­ated after this small vil­lage on the Côte Fleur­ie and decided to acquire it in order to devel­op an ideal sea­side resort. He sur­roun­ded him­self with an archi­tect and a fin­an­ci­er in order to make the future Deau­ville resort elit­ist and built a casino, a racetrack, a com­mer­cial port and a rail­way line in order to facil­it­ate access and devel­op activ­it­ies with­in the town. Deau­ville was built in only 4 years and the archi­tec­ture of the sea­side resort took shape. From the 1910s on, the most pres­ti­gi­ous places in Deau­ville were cre­ated and designed by Eugène Cor­nuché: the Hotel Le Nor­mandy, Le Roy­al and the Hotel du Golf. As the years went by, the eques­tri­an scene became more and more pop­u­lar, as did the golf course and events such as the Amer­ic­an Film Fest­iv­al, which became more demo­crat­ic: this was one of the first steps towards extend­ing the resort’s off-sea­son activity.

From 1965 to 1970, Deau­ville was one of the top 5 con­fer­ence and sem­in­ar des­tin­a­tions in France. The city wel­comed between 1,000 and 3,000 con­ven­tion­eers and adap­ted to the demand by installing tents on Eugène Cor­nuché Boulevard or in the park­ing lot of the Deau­ville La Touques racetrack. The town’s voca­tion became more and more import­ant and it hos­ted major trade shows such as TOP RESA in 1978 and TOP COM in 1984.

In 1987, the very attract­ive Des­tin­a­tion Deau­ville received 35,305 con­ven­tion­eers but refused to host 14 con­ven­tions due to a lack of space; the city could not accom­mod­ate all the conventioneers.

Thus, the need for a recep­tion area for sem­inars and con­ven­tions quickly became appar­ent. Anne d’Or­nano, the city’s may­or, wanted to fur­ther devel­op busi­ness tour­ism and sup­por­ted the pro­ject for a con­ven­tion cen­ter. At the time, this was an ambi­tious pro­ject for a sea­side resort of 3,000 inhabitants.

On Decem­ber 30, 1988, a jury com­posed of Deau­vil­lais, pro­fes­sion­als and the city coun­cil chose the archi­tect Patrick Le Gos­lès, a nat­ive of the region, and the com­pan­ies Quillery and Rufa, among oth­ers, for the real­iz­a­tion and con­struc­tion of the CITC: Centre Inter­na­tion­al Tour­istique et Cul­turel. The ini­tial pro­ject fore­sees a hall of 850 places and an under­ground park­ing of 1200 places under the ten­nis courts.

After a study trip to the United States and under the advice of the Amer­ic­ans, the plan of the C.I.D. was mod­i­fied: the enlarge­ment of hall 3 under the aven­ue Lucien Bar­rière was decided and the aud­it­or­i­um went from 850 to nearly 1500 seats.

The build­ing per­mit was gran­ted and the Deau­ville Con­ven­tion Cen­ter was to be semi-bur­ied and not exceed 3.50m above ground. The ground­break­ing cere­mony took place on Janu­ary 2, 1991 in the former Casino gar­dens. More than 150,000 m³ of sand and gravel were removed.

Build­ing per­mit for the Centre Inter­na­tion­al de Deauville  © Yves Aublet 
Photo of the con­struc­tion site  © Yves Aublet 
The con­struc­tion of the C.I.D. © Yves Aublet 

In Feb­ru­ary 1991, the found­a­tion piles of the estab­lish­ment were laid and the two main beams were installed.

Dur­ing the con­struc­tion, a promon­tory was installed to allow the pub­lic to fol­low the pro­gress of the work and a frieze was spe­cially cre­ated by Michel Deschamps cov­er­ing the whole of the C.I.D.‘s sur­round­ings; this visu­al cor­res­ponds to a sim­u­la­tion of the sketches, reveal­ing the future sil­hou­ette of the Pal­ais des congrès.

The Michel d’Or­nano aud­it­or­i­um was delivered in Decem­ber 1991, fol­lowed by the cre­ation of a “Casino gal­lery” tun­nel under the Boulevard Cor­nuché link­ing the Deau­ville Casino and the Centre Inter­na­tion­al de Deauville.

In March 1992, the dec­or­at­ing com­pan­ies moved into the con­ven­tion cen­ter and cre­ated the iden­tity and pres­ti­gi­ous, upscale atmo­sphere of the CID, using the col­ors chosen to rep­res­ent the Deau­ville des­tin­a­tion: blue/gray, green and beige.

With the scale of the pro­ject arous­ing curi­os­ity, tours open to the pub­lic and guided by Hubert Moisy and Patrick Le Gos­lès, the pro­ject archi­tect, began in the spring of 1992.

Hubert Moisy guid­ing visitors  © Yves Aublet 
Pub­lic vis­it organ­ized at the CID  © Yves Aublet 
The promon­tory installed dur­ing the con­struc­tion of the CID Deauville  © Yves Aublet 

In total, more than 250 mil­lion francs (nearly 55 mil­lion euros), 350,000 hours of work and nearly 400 men were needed to build the CID.

Aven­ue Lucien Bar­rière was inaug­ur­ated on August 29, 1992 by Anne d’Or­nano and Diane Bar­rière-Des­sei­gne, and the Centre Inter­na­tion­al de Deau­ville was inaug­ur­ated on Septem­ber 4, 1992 by Clint East­wood, who came to present his new film “Impitoy­able” at the 18th Deau­ville Amer­ic­an Film Festival.

Thanks to Yves Aub­let for his testi­mony and for shar­ing his photos.

Photo cred­it: Yves Aublet

Dis­cov­er 30 years of events at the C.I.D in video :

  • Photo de la plage Fleurie
  • Vue du front de mer de Deauville
  • Image du chantier
  • The promontory installed during the construction of the CID Deauville
  • Construction du Palais des Congrès
  • Le Centre International de Deauville en construction
  • Publicité pour l'ouverture du C.I.D
  • La construction des terrasses du C.I.D
  • La coupole du Centre International de Deauville
  • Hubert Moisy guiding visitors
  • Le C.I.D de Deauville
  • Inauguration of Lucien Barrière Avenue
  • Discours de l'inauguration de l'avenue Lucien Barrière
  • Photo du Centre International de Deauville
  • Photo du C.I.D en 1992
  • Inauguration ceremony of the C.I.D.
The promontory installed during the construction of the CID Deauville Le Centre International de Deauville en construction Hubert Moisy guiding visitors Inauguration of Lucien Barrière Avenue Inauguration ceremony of the C.I.D.
Previous article

Energy sharing pool / C.I.D