Pavilion of France
The concept for Infinite Places, developed by the Encore Heureux team, led by the architects Nicola Delon, Julien Choppin, and Sébastien Eymard, presents places produced by new and inventive processes that generate architectural processes of value. This exhibition project, which considers the territory as a whole, highlights initiatives on the part of civil society and communities that embody a certain free spirit of experimentation and the possibilities opened up by architecture. These projects are expressions of programmatic freedom and generosity, and they live up to the theme of Freespace adopted by the two commissioners of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, the Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelly McNamara.
Statement of the curators
« Through the Infinite Places exhibition, we seek to bring together and tell the stories of ten innovating places that explore new pathways to address the challenges of today by employing bold and tactical processes. To us, the integration of non-programmatic spaces, the creation of spaces of freedom or for citizen appropriation are proof that certain spaces accommodate social experiments. These are “Third Places” for temporary work, for public facilities, for participatory dwellings – places of work and culture (…) spread out over the territory.
The title Infinite Places evokes the range of possibilities that are opened up by those who create these spots. By sharing the conditions of existence of these places, by focusing in detail on the experiences they afford, we see a common desire for experiment in a multiplicity of other place-worlds, beyond the ten specific situations. Singularities, yes, but also a collective desire and inventions that call the meaning of architecture into question:
Should one simply erect buildings or seek to make places?» Encore Heureux
The places presented include: Le Centquatre (Paris), l’Hôtel Pasteur (Rennes), La Grande Halle (Colombelles), Les Ateliers Meìdicis (Clichy-sous-Bois-Montfermeil), La Friche la Belle de Mai (Marseille), Le Tri Postal (Avignon), Les Grands Voisins (Paris), le 6B (Saint-Denis), La Convention (Auch), La Ferme du Bonheur (Nanterre).
The French Pavilion project is commissioned by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and implemented by the Institut français, a public institution responsible for French cultural actions outside of France.