Inaugurated in the 1930s for a major international exhibition, this colossal block of reinforced concrete was intended to be a large, avant-garde and functional exhibition pavilion capable of accommodating large numbers of visitors. It housed an ice rink for many years before being closed in 2011 due to weather-related damage. Today, the building is completely derelict and unsafe. With such a large space, it was difficult to continue to maintain the premises and pay the electricity bills to heat it.

In addition to the roof, which has major water infiltration problems, the metal structure is not up to standard because it is not fire-resistant, and there is asbestos in the air. The building is very stuffy, there's very little ventilation, and the smell is very nauseating in places. It's another good example of an overbuilt building that we don't know what to do with these days. However, the building's architectural and heritage value has been the subject of requests for classification, which have not yet been acted upon. In 2021, a fire broke out in the building. Renovation projects are currently underway.

The tour, meanwhile, is carried out in almost total darkness by torchlight. If you shine your torch at the ceiling, you'll see sections of the ceiling half-dropping away, which is a real cause for concern. When we arrived at the ice rink, another world opened up to me, frozen in time: the goals and skates were still there, covered in a delicious layer of rot. The resurfacer, the vehicle used to smooth the ice on the rink, is still there on the edge of the pitch, covered in graffiti. And if you venture into the adjoining rooms, you'll discover the changing rooms, the reception area for skate distribution, the bleachers for spectators, the bar and even a solarium in one room. It's an atypical abandoned site, the likes of which you don't often see.

ℹ️  Current state: endangered, under renovation

General condition

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