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The former UK headquarters of the Michelin Tyre Company was opened in 1911 and was designed by Francois Epinasse. It has a style all of its own - the strong lines anticipate Art Deco, while the flow and the ornamentation have Art Nouveau appeal. Art Nouveau architects often borrowed forms from nature, but this building is a tribute to the famous "Michelin Man". He is also called "Bibendum", and his shape was inspired by the semi-natural appearance of a stack of tyres.

On the inside and outside walls there are 32 tile panels which show scenes from the early history of motoring, motor racing and the first pneumatic tyres used on a horse drawn carriage. As extra advertising for Michelin, a motorcycling scene has a hoarding in the background with the company's slogan "Le pneu Michelin boit l'obstacle" - suggesting that these tyres "drink up obstacles". This idea reappears in the mosaic floor inside the building.

michelin building
exterior views

michelin building
exterior views

michelin man
mosaic floor

interior tiles
interior tiles

interior tiles
interior tiles

interior tiles
interior tiles (details)

exterior tiles
exterior tiles

exterior tiles
exterior tiles

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