While the French military may be the subject of the occasional quip, the force's new command and control center is no joke. Opened by President Francois Hollande today during a ceremony in Paris after four years of construction, the 41-acre, seven-story, $4.35 billion complex in the south part of the city will house 9,000 officials and the country's first command-and-control center. Replacing a series of 18th century townhouses, the massive, missile-proof structure, designed by ANMA, features an origami-like roof, blue-tiled facades and rooftop solar cells, the largest in the city. The French structure will have other serious differences from the U.S. Pentagon; the "city-within-a-city," which contains restaurants, daycare centers and extensive green space, also has a €30 million ($32.6 million) pool that will be open to the public. It does, however, also have a geometric nickname, "Hexagone-Balard," a reference to the shape of the building's center and the nearby neighborhood.
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