The architect who built the Conference Hall had to leave plenty of room for the unexpected in his general design. - Science has reached such a point nowadays that one must expect all kinds of wonders from him.
The overall layout of the building is understood in a simple and severe style; the great axis which dominates every door through which our great sovereign of the nineteenth century, science, must gain access, makes it clear that this is the asylum of great conceptions and great prodigies. Two closed rotundas protrude from the façade, like two arms stretched out towards the passer-by to invite him to enter the temple of human genius.
The interior of the hall is tastefully decorated, and symbolises the various glories of France. The terraces are gently sloped and skilfully arranged so as not to obstruct anyone's view.
The acoustics have also been carefully studied.
The lighting, which will borrow, according to the time of day, from the stained glass windows their shimmering colour and their effect so soft to the eye, from gas, magnesium, and electricity, their devices and their raw materials, will complete by its novelties the character of this monument, true and last expression of the progress of our time.
The lecturer's chair will be placed in such a way as to favour the demonstrations made on the projected image, and whose place is all foreseen in this large panel which spreads out in front of the public, and which separates it from the laboratory destined to prepare the mechanism of the wonders which will be explained to it.
There are enough clearances, ventilation is very well understood, and we can only finish this description by congratulating the architect, Mr. Allard, for the talent he has displayed in this construction, both from the architectural and scientific points of view.
Now to the work, gentlemen lecturers, a broad program is traced out for you: the historical point of view and the technical point of view open a very beautiful career to you.
To know how these inventions which astonish our imagination came into being, to know their authors, to learn what obstacles were piled up, and how perseverance aided by genius was able to overcome them; to then appreciate the usefulness of these same discoveries and to see their sparkling deductions spring up before our eyes; this is the noble task which has been entrusted to you, and we are assured in advance that you will be equal to your mission.
©L'Exposition Universelle de 1867 Illustrée