One century old and not a wrinkle
The mutualist movement developed powerfully throughout France from the very end of the 19th century. In Paris, the main actor is the Fédération Mutualiste de la Seine (FMS), which has been putting pressure on the City since 1904 to obtain premises. After twenty years, in 1924, the FMS eventually obtained a land, liberated by the destruction of the former Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet seminary. It took another five years for the first stone to be laid in 1929 by Gaston Doumergue, President of the Republic.
The Art Deco-style building was built by architects Lesage and Miltgen. They resorted to very modern techniques for the time, in particular the use of reinforced concrete. They must also consolidate the foundations because the building is built on the Bièvre, a river that crossed Paris to flow into the Seine. In July 1931, the Maison de la Mutualité was finally inaugurated by the new President of the Republic, Paul Doumer. The building is made up of a 1789-seat theatre (an obvious allusion to the French Revolution), a banquet hall and offices spread over several floors. Its facade, its roof and a large part of the interior spaces have been registered as Historic Monuments since April 19, 2011.
Until 2008, countless political and trade union but also cultural events will be held at “la Mutu”. We see Presidents of the Republic and sportsmen like Marcel Cerdan, artists like Charlie Chaplin, Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf or, more recently, Bjork.
In 2010, the Maison de la Mutualité was entrusted to GL Events, which then undertook ambitious renovation work. The task was entrusted to Jean-Michel Wilmotte and was completed on March 6, 2012. Thus began a second life for La Mutualité which, each year, hosts around 250 events of all kinds: classical music concerts, evening events, product launches , fashion shows, fairs and always, of course, political meetings. Major events on the gastronomic scene such as Omnivore and the Bocuse d’Or have thus recently taken place at the Mutualité.