September 05, 2022

The International Center of Deauville: 30 years of audacity

Thirty years ago, Anne d'Ornano, then Mayor of Deauville, affirmed her faith in the future of Deauville by deciding to create the Center International de Deauville (CID). His desire to provide the city with ideal equipment overcame all obstacles and offered this congress center which is unlike any other. The quality of its design and the work of the teams have brought the CID into the very closed circle of international facilities capable of hosting the most prestigious events.

It took a lot of audacity and determination to provide a city inhabited by 4000 Deauvillais with a congress center worthy of a capital. Boldness, courage, firmness in the service of a real ability to project oneself into the future, to create and invest for the good of all.
Philippe Augier, Mayor of Deauville

1974: A reflection on business tourism and the creation of a congress center is initiated

In the 1970s, Deauville, a classic seaside resort, was designed to live in season around two strong points: the races and the casino. It is a seasonal city that lives three months a year. Michel d'Ornano, Mayor of Deauville, is aware that off-season tourist development is necessary. In 1975, he created the American Film Festival, which extended the summer season to a few days in September. Deauville then has all the advantages of a conference destination: large hotel capacity, leisure facilities, quality of the environment and ideal geographical location in relation to Paris.

Lay of the sea - 1974
First poster for the American Film Festival (1975) based on a painting by Kees Van Dongen produced in Deauville
Vincente Minelli, Michel and Anne d'Ornano - 1977 American Film Festival

1988: Deauville ranks 5th among French congress cities

Slot machines – authorized in 1987 in the casino lobby – have a double effect: they bring new revenue to the City which makes it possible to consider the investment of a conference venue and at the same time reduce to the skin of chagrin the spaces to accommodate the now numerous delegates. No less than 40 come to Deauville each year, often hosted in mobile structures and marquees. In 000, the City refused no less than 1989 congresses for lack of premises. It is also lacking space to organize cultural or sporting events and an adequate infrastructure to receive business tourism. The project to build a convention center is needed and is adopted by the City Council. In August 14, specifications were drawn up. The building will be located in the gardens between the Casino and the Planches, near the major hotels and close to the city center. Because the City of Deauville has protected its seaside, the building will necessarily be semi-buried and will not exceed the average surface height of 1988 meters for above-ground constructions. The architectural competition is launched. The building already bears a name: the International Tourist and Cultural Center of Deauville, thus asserting a dual vocation. The City will be the sole contracting authority.

Thanks to the increase in its reception capacities, Deauville will be able to face the competition in the best possible conditions and will thus be able to conquer new market shares.
Anne d'Ornano

1989: A year devoted to reflection

The consultation resulted in the submission of eight applications. The jury made up of Deauvillais and professionals chose Patrick Le Goslès, local architect, associated with the companies Quillery and Rufa. The year 1989 will be devoted to reflection. The municipality will wait until the end of the year before launching: the Minister of Finance at the time – Pierre Joxe – at the time waged "war" on slot machines. However, the financing of the convention center is inconceivable without the financial windfall of the games, which has exploded since the arrival of the "bandit-penguins". The doubt will be lifted at the very beginning of the following year.

Anne d'Ornano and Patrick Le Goslès, building architect

1990: Anne d'Ornano gives her consent for the construction of the building

The CID will dive 14 meters below sea level and will cover 35000m2, half of which is dedicated to technical spaces, spread over three levels. 18 months of work will be necessary. The outlines of the project were confirmed and refined after a study trip to the United States: Anne d'Ornano, accompanied by a delegation of ten Deauville residents associated with the project, went to study American practices in terms of business tourism. Together, they visit the convention centers of Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami, Houston, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the Disney park in Orlando… welcomed by its architects. 11 cities will be visited in 11 days. The trip is fruitful: we are considering extensions such as hall 3, under avenue Lucien Barrière or even anchoring to the foundations to install tents on the forecourt. The Americans advise Deauville residents to make a real auditorium with non-retractable seats and a capacity of 1500 seats and not 850.
In Deauville, the inhabitants give their opinion: 81% of Deauville residents believe that the convention center is an important economic issue and 52% that it is an essential investment in the long term.

1991: You have to know how to suffer to be beautiful

The first pickaxe is given on January 2. The diaphragm wall is made in order to isolate the construction from the water table. A huge regional project – the largest ever undertaken in Deauville – is starting with the clearing of 150 m000 of sand and gravel which will require 3 to 120 trucks per day for three months. The workers (up to 150 in peak times) will work at a very sustained pace for 400 months.

In February, the foundation piles are placed while the earthworks continue.

In the summer, the site enters the superstructure phase. The first m3 of concrete have been poured. The two main beams of the building are laid. At the same time, the mixed economy management company of the CID was set up.

In November, the terrace on the sea side is completed as well as the 10 meter wide access ramp. Emergency exits are provided.

December sees the concrete flow. The auditorium has already taken shape. We distinguish its lines. The bleachers will be delivered for Christmas. The trucks continue to unload parts from all regions of France. The project will have required 350 hours of work.


1992: The CID enters the home straight

In January, the CID gets closer to the casino. The tunnel linking the two buildings was dug under Boulevard Cornuché, temporarily blocking traffic.

In February, the canopy is installed and the four cranes dismantled. The first communication tool is published.

From March, the finishing and decoration work begins inside the building. The decoration is also specially created by the architect. He especially designs the carpets. The colors are those of Deauville: we indeed find the gray blue of the sky, the beige of the sand, the green of the doors of the cabins of the Pompeian baths. The seats in the auditorium are custom-designed to match the ovoid shape of the room. A specific and innovative smoke extraction system was created especially for the site, given its underground location.

Spring and summer are coming, the countdown begins. Alongside visits for elected officials, site visits are regularly open to the public, provided by Hubert Moisy, Deputy Mayor, and Patrick le Goslès, the architect. Visitors are captivated by the design of the building.

On August 29, the new avenue which passes above the rooms is inaugurated by Anne d'Ornano, Marta Barrière and her daughter Diane Barrière-Desseigne. It bears the name of Lucien Barrière.


September 4, 1992: The deadline has been met: the CID opens its doors on the occasion of the 18th American Film Festival

It is inaugurated by Clint Eastwood, present for the screening of his new film "Ruthlessness", of which he is both the director and the main actor. James Coburn, Cyd Charysse, Jack Lemmon, Roy Scheider, Robert Duvall, Buzz Aldrin, Brian de Palma... are there for the first screening in the vast auditorium that bears the name of Michel d'Ornano.

Today, the CID hosts 150 events a year over more than 300 days

Congresses, business seminars, trade shows, product launches, internal meetings. Many of them made an impression.
At the beginning of 1993, for a month, Peugeot trusted the CID to organize the European launch of its famous 306. The same year, the National Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF) organized its first annual congress at the CID: a major meeting between producers, distributors, directors and public authorities.
The CID saw the birth of the Asian Film Festival in 1999, then the Women's Forum in 2005.
In 2003, Deauville hosted, at the initiative of Philippe Augier, its first international diplomatic summit, a meeting of G7/G8 Finance Ministers. In 2008, the G27 of Defense Ministers will follow, then a tripartite summit in 2010 bringing together Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and Dimitri Medvedev. On May 26 and 27, 2011, Deauville was the capital of the world for 48 hours, hosting the annual meeting of the group of eight most industrialized nations: the G8.

Centre International de Deauville


Contact us:
+33 (0)2 31 14 40 00

Our tourist information offices:

Residence of the Clock
Empress Eugenie wharf
14800 Deauville
See opening hours

Place Jean-Mermoz
14640 Villers-sur-Mer
See opening hours

32 bis avenue Michel d'Ornano
14910 Blonville-sur-Mer
See opening hours

40 rue du Général Leclerc
14113 Villerville
See opening hours

20 Place Lemercier
14800 Toques
See opening hours

Louis Delamare Promenade
(behind the aid station)
14800 Tourgeville
See opening hours