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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • 30th ITER Council: Progress in a time of challenge and transition

    The Council chamber on the fifth floor of the ITER Headquarters building resonated once again with the sound of voices as Member representatives gathered for th [...]

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  • Open Doors Day | Back together again

    After more than two years, ITER has resumed a tradition that dates back to 2007—Open Doors Day. On Saturday 18 June, more than 50 "volunteers," staff [...]

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  • ITER Robots | Cultivating curiosity and creativity

    Robotics are everywhere. As technology develops, robots are playing an increasing role in industry, medicine, agriculture and many other fields. In ITER, the op [...]

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  • Worksite | Changing views

    Twelve years after construction work began on the ITER platform, the installation has acquired its near-final appearance. More than 85 percent of civil works ar [...]

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  • Image of the week | A steep climb

    In the days and weeks to come, the sector module that was installed in the Tokamak assembly pit on 11-12 May will be moved closer to its final position. Hydraul [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Image of week

Architectural challenges and solutions

An installation as massive as ITER, with a main complex rising 60 metres above ground and construction spreading over 42 hectares, could be a terrible eyesore and an offense to the beauty of its rural surroundings.

Photo EJF Riche - ITER Organization (Click to view larger version...)
Photo EJF Riche - ITER Organization
On the contrary, at ITER—thanks to the effort that went into its design and architecture—the scientific installation adds a spectacular touch to the landscape.

The architects at the Parisian firm ENIA, who planned the exterior aspect of the ITER buildings, wanted them to blend into the natural environment and at the same time express the highly technical nature of the research work being performed within.

The solution they chose, a cladding that alternates mirror-like stainless steel panels and grey-lacquered metal stripes, has proved efficient: on certain days, under certain light conditions, the buildings seem to disappear as they reflect the shades and colours of the changing skies.

In designing ITER Headquarters, Rudy Ricciotti—the award-winning architect of the Mucem museum in Marseille—and his local partner, Laurent Bonhomme, faced a different challenge: combining the functional requirements of a large office building with the daring architectural gesture that ITER deserved.

In their vision, the five-storey, 165-metre-long construction situated slightly below the ITER construction platform should be a "visual pedestal [...] a horizontal monolith responding to the exuberant verticality of the Tokamak Complex."

Here too, the architects succeeded. As is obvious in this picture, part of our most recent drone survey, architecture has bestowed a unique and unexpected beauty on ITER.



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