|Born in February 1924 in
Draguignan in France's Var region, Henri Vidal entered the École
Polytechnique in 1944 and continued his education at the École Nationale
des Ponts et Chaussées engineering school, graduating in 1949 with
a sound scientific background. With dreams of becoming an architect, he
enrolled in a workshop run by the fine arts school École des Beaux-Arts
de Paris, while continuing to work as an engineer in the maintenance
department of the hydraulic production division at electric utility EDF.
After graduating in architecture in 1961, he opened an architectural firm the same year in addition to holding down an engineering job at Fougerolles. He gained recognition in the civil engineering field by masterminding a number of clever construction solutions. As an architect, he worked alongside Yves Bayard in designing the building for the current art museum in Nice. After five years of establishing the theory for his process and of experiments on scale models, he filed the patent for Reinforced Earth® in 1963.