Renovating the Main Building

CERN's "Main Building" is exactly that. The Organization's central hub, with hundreds of staff and visitors passing through its doors every day, will soon be getting a well-earned facelift. Refurbishment work will proceed in phases, starting with the Salle des Pas Perdus, the concourse between the Council Chamber and the Main Auditorium. By the end of August, informal seating areas will be installed, electronic display panels will provide practical information and improved sound insulation will enhance conditions in the auditoria and surrounding meeting rooms.


In light green the area that will undergo the facelift. Work will start in July.

The ground floor is home to the entrance to Restaurant No. 1, the bank, the post office, the travel agent, the Users Office, the Staff Association, the notice boards etc. Step up to the first floor to access CERN's largest lecture theatre, the Council Chamber and its "Pas Perdus" lobby. Everyone who works at or visits CERN is familiar with "the Main Building", in reality a hotchpotch of different buildings (500, 501, 503, 60, 61) all constructed at different times in CERN's history (see box).

Although the Main Building meeting rooms have been refurbished at various times and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, other areas such as the first-floor concourse and main staircase have never really enjoyed such tender loving care. "It's high time we started giving these areas a facelift. Behind this consolidation drive is the increased need to optimise the available space together with practical issues such as better sound insulation in the corridors to enhance working conditions in the adjacent meeting rooms,"says Myriam Veyrat, who has been appointed by the Directorate to run the project.

The sculpture "Feeling Material XXXIV" donated to CERN by the sculptor Antony Gormley. It will be suspended over the main stairwell.
(Antony Gormley
5mm square section mild steel bar
155 x 244 x 153 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London
© the artist)

Other key aspects of the project include a fresh lick of paint on the walls, new floor coverings and a renovated gallery of portraits of CERN's former Director-Generals. Myriam adds: "We're working with firms specialised in building renovation. The building materials, furniture and paintwork have all been carefully selected to create a warm and friendly atmosphere. A work of art donated to CERN by sculptor Antony Gormley will take pride of place, suspended over the main stairwell."

Not only will these areas be more convivial but they will be far more welcoming for visitors who aren't necessarily familiar with the Laboratory. "Screens will be installed at strategic points to display essential information such as the location of rooms, their occupancy, meetings in progress, etc. Each meeting room will also be equipped with a screen displaying detailed information. The same applies to the Building 60 lifts, which will also be replaced," Myriam Veyrat explains.

Sigurd Lettow, Director of Administration and Infrastructure adds: "The renovation of the Main Building will be done in phases. After the first-floor concourse, we hope to go on to renovate the ground floor." But such a project will take time and money to set up, and will therefore probably have to wait until next year.

Renovation Work on the Main Building

The first floor of the Main Building will be inaccessible from 2 July until the 31 August for renovation
This work includes:
-The renovation and enlargement of the toilets. The toilets available will be situated on the ground floor next to the entry of the cafeteria.
-The renovation of the large elevator. The second floor elevator will be available for all floors, except for the first floor (the button is disconnected).
A sign for the building site will be put up and there will be a marked path for those going to the restaurant via the gateway.
We thank you for your understanding.

by CERN Bulletin