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France at the Exhibition Expo Montreal 1967
© expo67
Architect(s) : J. Faugeron

The circular French pavilion is a monument of concrete, glass and aluminium, around which a set of sunbreaking slats ensures a large sculptural effect, opening up new possibilities for users of modern materials who seek to escape the constraints of the rectilinear edge. The diversity of forms offered by the facade means that, as you walk around it, you discover a new image and new perspectives at every step. The theme of the presentations is Tradition and Invention.

The pavilion has nine levels. In the void in the centre of the building, a six-minute musical performance, Xénakis's Polytope, accompanies the projection of colour slides of crystal formation taken with a polarising interference microscope.

On the ground floor, the various aspects of the voyages to France are on display; among the exhibits are two models of the "France". A cinema room allows visitors to watch a retrospective of French cinema. A conference room can accommodate 80 people. The pool on the ground floor is surrounded by luminous water features and in the centre, on a floating stage, various shows are presented.

The ground floor is reserved for major technical achievements: an animated model of the Eole project; an animated model of the Chantreine Saint-Gobain glass factory; a Plexiglas model of the supersonic Concorde aircraft; a model of the air cushion train, and other major French achievements.

On the ground floor, the City of Paris presents a colour film, a Left Bank sector, art crafts, haute couture, jewellery and perfumes.

The first floor is devoted to the most modern techniques of energy release and transmissions. The electricity of France presents the tidal plant of Rance and the Bulbe groups; the atomic energy presents the animated and sound model of the Osiris reactor; the oil and gas sector presents the model of the Jules Verne, the LNG port of Le Havre, etc, In the "Transmissions" sector, the links "through space" are presented: satellite communications; echo suppressor; ionospheric sounder; images of the French telecommunications network; the application of lasers to telecommunications; a luminous map of France and a philatelic sector.

The third floor, devoted to science and its discoveries, is divided into seven sections: oceanography, vulcanology, biology, chemistry, optics, solid state physics and space physics. The Paris Observatory presents Professor Lallemand's electronic camera.

Land use planning is the theme of the fourth floor. It includes a Sound and Light show on a model of the Château de Chambord, a large map of France, eight cinema rooms showing films on life in France, and a model of the development of Languedoc-Roussillon.

The fifth floor is the arts floor. There are paintings, sculptures, silverware, stained glass windows, capitals and religious treasures from the Romanesque period to the present day. In the creative arts section, the most important artists of contemporary art are presented, as well as art and creative crafts, a book exhibition and a literary museum where you can find manuscripts, photos, unpublished pages, first editions, personal objects, etc. The voices of 80 French writers can be heard.

On the upper level, a museum of Franco-Canadian friendships, from Jacques Cartier to Chateaubriand, presents 165 documents or various objects.

The pavilion has a restaurant, a brasserie and a Parisian café where visitors can taste the gastronomic specialties of France.


On the ground floor of the French pavilion, the City of Paris has reserved a large area for its own participation.

A colour film - the work of François Reichenbach - takes the visitor on a walk through the City of Light. Projected simultaneously on four large screens, the film shows the Eiffel Tower, the Palais de Chaillot, the Opera, the Place de la Concorde, Notre-Dame, the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile, Montmartre and Montparnasse.

The left bank sector presents Saint-Germain-de s -prés, the Latin Quarter, the Institut de France, the Sorbonne, the grandes écoles, an environment influenced by art and thought, an environment of student fervour.

Crossing the Seine, one enters the Paris of elegance: rue de la Paix, Place Vendôme, rue Saint-Honoré, Champs-Elysées. Prismatic windows serve and present the original presentation of Parisian boutiques.

Further on, overlooking the lagoon, the Café de Paris and its terrace welcome the visitor.

The visitor has had the opportunity to admire and see the evolution of Paris, a thousand-year-old city. Now, for the first time, they are shown the daring projects that French architects and builders designed for the Paris of the year 2000.

© Expo67 - General Report