This engraving, published in the journal l’Illustration in 1882, represents the Atrium of the new head office of the Comptoir d’Escompte de Paris.
A vast hall, still known as the room of lost steps, the Atrium is topped by an immense glass roof at a height of 17 metres, decorated with floral and geometric patterns, that lets the daylight in. Serving as the central branch, this room is equipped with numerous wickets where customers carry out their banking operations, while several groups of visitors spread around the room are conversing. This Atrium illustrates the intent of the Comptoir to open up to a broad clientele.
A new head office adapted to the needs of the CNEP
Since 1851, le Comptoir d’Escompte de Paris has been headquartered in the Hotel Rougemont located at 11 rue Bergère in Paris, not far from the stock exchange. With the growth in business activity and personnel, the bank found itself cramped and decided to completely rebuild its head office. Consequently, it initiated this work. The CNEP entrusted the designed of the building to Edouard Corroyer, student of Viollet-Le-Duc, who had previously directed the restoration of Mont Saint-Michel. The work began in 1878 and was completed in 1882. This new building made a splash and its modernity was especially hailed in the contemporary press.