Lille Grand Palais is a unique building in the very heart of the Lille conurbation. Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas (Pritzker Award in 2000), it gathers three complementary areas: a congress center, exhibition grounds and a Zenith Arena.


Lille Grand Palais finds its origin in the will of former Mayor Pierre Mauroy to strengthen Lille as a great European conurbation. The project was initiated in the 1980’s, along with urbanistic project Euralille. Architect Rem Koolhaas was in charge of the design of the overall project, with the collaboration of his peers Jean Nouvel, Christian de Portzamparc and Claude Vasconi. Over five years, they transformed 170 acres of unused land next to the ring road into a vast center for offices and company headquarters. The district was inaugurated in 1994, alongside with Lille Grand Palais.
The Zénith Arena welcomed its first visitors a couple of months later, in November 1994.


Lille Grand Palais can welcome over 20,000 guests at a time, on various types of events: fairs, congresses, seminars, conferences, exhibitions, conventions, gala nights, workshops, product launches, roadshows, shareholder meetings, fashion shows, international events… A building with a unique design, perfectly located in the heart of Europe, close to Paris, London and Brussels.


With its avant-garde architecture, Lille Grand Palais is among the very few buildings offering, on a same level, conference rooms, auditoriums and over
18,000 square meters of exhibition grounds. The key factor is modularity: each zone can be privatised or partitioned, guaranteeing very easy access and circulation. Construction-wise, the building mixes heavy material, such as concrete, with more aesthetic elements such as wood and large windows. The idea is to offer a “neutral” building that can be easily customised to fit in with the identity of each event.


For over 20 years, Lille Grand Palais has been a driving force in Lille and the surroundings, as it attracts major professional events. Today, Lille Grand Palais has become a European-wide exchange center, with over 300 events a year, welcoming over a million visitors! Our events meet a growing success which allows Lille to strengthen its position as a great destination for business tourism.

Figures of Lille Grand Palais:


  • 3 structures under a same roof: a congress center, exhibition grounds and a Zenith Arena.
  • Over 1 million visitors, spectators and congress participants every year
  • Over 300 events per year
  • Over 40 events produced or co-produced in 10 years
  • Over 45,000 square meters of modular space (53,800 square yards)
  • 4 amphitheaters and 24 committee’s rooms
  • 18,000 square meters of modular exhibition grounds on one level (21,500 square yards)
  • Over 20 years of experience