Who built the Centre International de Deauville ?

The construction of the C.I.D.
The construction of the C.I.D. © Yves Aublet

To answer the ques­tion “Who built the Centre Inter­na­tion­al de Deau­ville?”, we must go back to the very ori­gins of the birth of the sea­side resort of Deauville.

Ancienne photo de la plage Fleurie à Deauville


Deau­ville was born in 1858 around the church of Saint Laurent, in the heart of Nor­mandy. At the time, it had only a hun­dred or so 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 charm of the marshes and the beach loc­ated next to this small vil­lage of the Côte Fleur­ie. He decided to acquire it in order to devel­op an ideal sea­side resort. The Duke of Morny sur­roun­ded him­self with an archi­tect and a fin­an­ci­er in order to make the future resort of Deau­ville elit­ist. He built the Deau­ville Casino, a racetrack, a com­mer­cial port and a rail­road to facil­it­ate access and devel­op activ­it­ies with­in the city.

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 the French entre­pren­eur Eugène Cor­nuché:

As the years went by, the eques­tri­an world became more and more pop­u­lar. Golf and events such as the Deau­ville Amer­ic­an Film Fest­iv­al became more pop­u­lar: this was one of the first steps towards extend­ing the resort’s off-sea­son activity.

Tourist development in Deauville

From 1965 to 1970, Deau­ville was one of the top 5 des­tin­a­tions for con­fer­ences and sem­inars in France. The city wel­comed more and more pro­fes­sion­al meet­ings: from 1,000 to 3,000 con­ven­tion­eers. Deau­ville adap­ted to the grow­ing demand of busi­ness tour­ism cli­en­tele by installing tents on Eugène Cor­nuché Boulevard or in the park­ing lot of the Deau­ville La Touques racetrack. The city’s voca­tion became more and more import­ant when it hos­ted major trade shows such as TOP RESA in 1978 and TOP COM in 1984.

Business tourism in Deauville

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.

The need for a place to host con­ven­tions and sem­inars was obvi­ous with such a high level of tour­ism devel­op­ment, boos­ted by the city’s loc­a­tion in rela­tion to the cap­it­al: Deau­ville is only 2 hours from Par­is! Anne d’Or­nano, the town’s may­or, wishes to set up new tour­ist products and fur­ther devel­op busi­ness tour­ism. She is plan­ning to build a con­ven­tion cen­ter in Deau­ville. Even though the hotel park already exis­ted, it was an ambi­tious pro­ject for a sea­side resort with only 3,000 inhab­it­ants. It was clear that Deau­ville would become the des­tin­a­tion for events in Nor­mandy par excellence.

On Decem­ber 30, 1988, a jury made up of Deau­ville res­id­ents, pro­fes­sion­als and the city coun­cil chose loc­al archi­tect Patrick Le Gos­lès and the com­pan­ies Quillery and Rufa, among oth­ers, to design and build the CITC: Centre Inter­na­tion­al Tour­istique et Cul­turel. The ini­tial pro­ject fore­sees a hall of 850 places and an under­ground park­ing of 1,200 places under the ten­nis courts.

After a study tour of con­ven­tion cen­ters in the United States and on the advice of the Amer­ic­ans, the plan for the Centre Inter­na­tion­al de Deau­ville CID was mod­i­fied: the exten­sion of hall 3 under Aven­ue Lucien Bar­rière was decided upon and the large Michel d’Or­nano aud­it­or­i­um was increased from 850 to nearly 1,500 seats.

Building a convention center in Deauville

The build­ing per­mit is gran­ted, the Deau­ville Con­ven­tion Cen­ter will be semi-under­ground. The Deau­ville Con­ven­tion Cen­ter will be 14 meters below sea level and no high­er than 3.5 meters above ground to pre­serve the view and the beauty of the Nor­mandy shoreline. 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.
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 CID’s sur­round­ings. This visu­al cor­res­ponds to a sim­u­la­tion of the sketches, reveal­ing the future sil­hou­ette of the Nor­mandy Con­ven­tion Centre.

Inaug­ur­a­tion of Lucien Bar­rière Avenue  © Yves Aublet 
Le Centre Inter­na­tion­al de Deau­ville en construction 
Inaug­ur­a­tion cere­mony of the C.I.D. © Yves Aublet 

The CID’s Michel d’Or­nano aud­it­or­i­um was delivered in Decem­ber 1991, fol­lowed by the cre­ation of a “Casino Gal­lery” tun­nel under the Boulevard Cor­nuché that dir­ectly con­nects the Deau­ville Casino and the Centre Inter­na­tion­al de Deauville.


In March 1992, the dec­or­at­ing com­pan­ies took over the Nor­mandy con­ven­tion cen­ter and cre­ated the iden­tity and pres­ti­gi­ous, upscale atmo­sphere of the CID, based on the col­or scheme chosen to rep­res­ent the Des­tin­a­tion Deau­ville: blue/gray, green and beige.

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

In total, the con­struc­tion of the Centre Inter­na­tion­al de Deau­ville will have cost more than 250 mil­lion francs (nearly 55 mil­lion euros), 350,000 hours of work and nearly 400 men at peak times.

Aven­ue Lucien Bar­rière was inaug­ur­ated on August 29, 1992 by Anne d’Or­nano and Diane Bar­rière-Des­sei­gne. The inaug­ur­a­tion of the Centre Inter­na­tion­al de Deau­ville took place on Septem­ber 4, 1992: Act­or, dir­ect­or and film pro­du­cer Clint East­wood came to present his new film, Mer­ci­less, at the XXth Deau­ville Amer­ic­an Film Festival.


Fest­iv­al de Deau­ville 1992 Clint East­wood Photo Jacques Benaroche-Sipa 
Auto­graphe Clint Eastwood 

The Centre Inter­na­tion­al de Deau­ville today
The Centre Inter­na­tion­al de Deau­ville, also known as the CID, is the temple of Amer­ic­an cinema in France, it is part of its DNA. The world’s greatest act­ors have des­cen­ded its marble stair­cases and sat in the seats of the Michel d’Or­nano auditorium.


The Pal­ais des Con­grès in Nor­mandy con­tin­ues its mis­sion of rent­ing out spaces and cre­at­ing events:

  • Con­gresses, con­ven­tions, sem­inars, sym­posi­ums, trade shows
  • Com­pany anniversar­ies, gala evenings,
  • Incent­ive and team-building,
  • Product launches,
  • Pro­fes­sion­al meetings,
  • Shows, fest­ivals…

The CID event team works pas­sion­ately to make each event unique and mem­or­able for all cli­ents. The bold and well thought-out archi­tec­ture of the Côte Fleur­ie Con­ven­tion Cen­ter still makes it a must for busi­ness tour­ism in Normandy.


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