Mr President of the Jury, Mr Directeur des Rédactions du Groupe Moniteur, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, Ladies and Gentlemen, Winners, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends of Architects,

When Victor Hugo says that architecture is the ledger of
humanity”, he says, how this latter translates the vision of a period,
the spirit of an era, the state of a civilization. I attach to it, you know,
special attention. It is therefore a great pleasure for me to
to present their winners with the Equerre d'Argent, the
Special Instructor Award and First Edition Award, which reward
for 28 years the most creative French architects. It is almost
the highlight of the architectural year.

Until Bruno Romeda’s bronzes are entrusted to their
happy recipients, I would like to tell you the importance of appointments
like the one that brings us together today. What prices allow
architecture of the Monitor, it is above all a work of legitimation and

Recognition of skills, indisputable in each of the
projects studied by the jury. Recognition of true intelligence
professional and relational, since it must be remembered that the Monitor
above all to pay tribute to the indispensable dialogue between the architect
and its contracting authority.

Recognition of a continuity sometimes, but also of the emergence of
young talents with new ideas, new methods, new
new questions.

Finally, recognition of the vitality of French architecture, its
ability to think, propose and deliver realistic and
innovative, able to stimulate the entire profession.

As Minister of Culture and Communication, as I have
I hope to be the Minister of
architects, from their «birth» to their development.
The year 2010 was particularly rich and was a milestone
of the department’s architectural policy.

It has seen the influence of architectural creation strengthened
abroad. I am thinking particularly of the superb
pavilions that Jacques FERRIER and Dominique PERRAULT have proposed to
the Shanghai World Expo and the Shanghai Biennial of Architecture

It confirmed promises, such as the one made by the President of
the Republic, to set up the International Workshop of Greater Paris
to make it a tool for dialogue and creation, an extension of
the extraordinary melting pot of ideas of the international
Greater Paris. I welcome the meeting on December 15 between
the President of the Republic and the ten urban architects who
took part in this consultation. The alternative
which was then presented and discussed at the Palais de Tokyo
is a strong signal of the collective will behind this project. Within
of this reference device, the architects are a force of proposal
and play a decisive role.

In 2011, the Department, including the Architecture Department, saw
the arrival of Bertrand-Pierre Galey as deputy director alongside the
Philippe Bélaval, Director General of Heritage. I am convinced that he
will continue to put its dynamism and convictions at the service of
architecture and architects. We must work together to
develop this “landscape intelligence” combining quality, innovation and
well-being, which must be at the heart of public policy
architecture. To me, it is the signature and trademark of the
Ministry of Culture and Communication. It is in this same spirit
the National Grand Prix of Architecture will soon be proclaimed,
which will consecrate the exemplary and singularity of the work of an architect or
two years after Anne LACATON and Jean-Philippe VASSAL.

The 21st century introduced a new approach to the city and
urban territories. Because the metropolis must be “sustainable”, it must
thinking and building in a transversal approach. It is now
rooted in a territory, in a culture of mobility and in a
shared habitus within which comfort, lifestyle and
citizens' aspirations are widely taken into account. An urban project
sustainable, this implies a responsible architecture, conscious of the
environmental quality, economic viability and equity issues
social. It is up to the architects, town planners, sociologists and
think. It is up to public actors to organize and transform them
and to promote new forms of “living together”.

Sustainable development should not just be an incantation or
a horizon to which we must strive. It must above all nourish - and not
only in the single act of building - a new process of
high standards, which aims above all at improving the
life of every city, every neighbourhood, every user. Because the
city has changed, the methods for building it must change and I know
that you pay great attention to it. These are the
major future challenges facing metropolises today:
develop, embellish, expand, communicate about their attractiveness,
become “sustainable” in order to retain today’s residents and
who want to move there tomorrow.

This ambition, I make it my own, this vision I share. It’s there
the ambition of my Ministry, its public institutions and its
decentralized services, which I wanted to fully integrate into the strategy
National Sustainable Development Committee
last July. This is what the Ministry of Culture and
Communication, through the Directorate-General for Heritage, seeks to
promote in each of the architectural programs it promotes or

This, I should like to stress, is not just a question of
construction, but also the policies of safeguarding sites and
urban renewal. The architectural and landscape quality is a
requirement that applies to all jurisdictions, all operations. The
implementation of the Areas for architecture and
heritage, which will replace the ZPPAUP, and the next
national renovation of degraded old neighbourhoods will be as
opportunities to confirm that quality of life is a priority
for my ministry.

Eco-responsible construction can no longer be based on
exceptions, on examples that are brilliant, but isolated. It must integrate
but also go beyond the question of energy savings and
selection of environmentally friendly materials. It must
sustainable way in public debate, be the subject of a real
pedagogy. Building “sustainable” remains, I am convinced, linked to a
learning process, for professionals, clients
and the architects of tomorrow. Etienne-Louis Boullée (1728-1799), in his
Architectural considerations said that the architect must go to the
implementation of nature”. We could almost reverse the
today, in the name of an imperative that must now inform
all landscape policies.

That is why I attach so great importance to national schools
architectural superiors, including the mobilization on
eco-responsibility is total. Their participation, with the support of
Grands Ateliers de l'Isle d'Abeau, at the Solar international competition
Decathlon, showed that they know how to meet the challenge of energy

I would also like to recall, because it is essential, the contribution of
ENSA laboratories in the reflection and dissemination of reflections
major regional capitals, in the
continuity of prospective studies conducted during the consultation
Greater Paris International, later led by the International Workshop
of Greater Paris.

I look forward to the completion of the programs
Extension and rehabilitation of schools in Clermont and Strasbourg
for the ENSA network to be modernised and more organised.
Since my arrival on rue de Valois, I have seen how young the architecture
is talented and creative. I want to make sure that the
the best conditions for transmitting knowledge to them
This is an essential condition for innovation.

You – and I speak to all the architects here tonight – know
the challenges and requirements of an eco-responsible architecture. The
metropolis of tomorrow, you make it, give it its shape, you give it
print its character. You have difficulties, I know,
in the daily practice of a profession where you have to work with a
increasingly complex chain of actors, where it is necessary to adapt to
standards and regulations, where you need to
both meet very specific performance criteria and continue to
play your decisive role in shaping the territory’s identity.

Today, the architect is as much a builder as a conductor.
Doesn’t Mozart say that "architecture is music frozen" - but
as alchemist, diplomat, expert, demiurge. And that’s why we
need you, your eye and your expertise! Because you
know how to make the connection, because in this necessary teamwork, in this
dialogue with your partners, you remain the mediator and
guarantee of program excellence. I believe this is precisely in
this multi-voice approach that builds an architecture

Dear Pascale GUEDOT, I would now like to pay tribute to your
work. You have, with remarkable softness, tamed a site with
its technical constraints, its landscape assets, its industrial heritage. It
there is in the media library of Oloron-Sainte-Marie the balance that we must
expect from any new building: elegance of volumes; symbiosis
with the beautiful natural setting of the Pyrenean piedmont; fluidity of
circulation; functionality of interior fittings. You have
especially participated with the creation of this equipment to the development
of a territory, now equipped with new cultural
public reading and knowledge service. We know
how books remain and remain a privileged point of access to culture
in all its dimensions. This is the meaning of the 14-point plan that I have
announced in March 2010 to take advantage of the new
digital resources for reading. But reading feeds on the place that
that often gives it meaning. Everyone knows how much the place
library can strengthen the imagination and create vocations of

The impression that emerges from your work as an architect is that of
the obvious. You were able to place a media library in the middle of a
stream and integrate it harmoniously into its natural site.
The use of organic materials makes it a checkpoint, a
landmark, a kind of movable element linked to the long history of the gave
d'Oloron. What seduces me is your ability to invent an original link
between a former industrial site – a beret factory – the
confluence of the gaves – these rivers typical of the Béarn and
Bigorre – and the surrounding valleys. At the complexity of the site, you have
answered with the force of evidence and elegance of the clean.

Let me add that with this project, you had the audacity to
contradict nothing less than Diderot and D'Alembert. In their Encyclopedia,
the two philosophers say gaves, and especially those of Aspe and
of Ossau, that «their speed is cause that they do not carry boats».
The Oloron-Sainte-Marie Media Library, anchored like a prow
at the confluence of two gaves, however, does not appear.

I am delighted to see that this Equerre d'Argent rewards the
stronger materials: the relationship of trust you have built
with your contractors, the City of Oloron and the Community of
Oloronais Piedmont. How could it have been
otherwise? You, the country’s child, born in Rébénacq, were the most capable
“feel” this territory, understand local issues and translate
needs expressed by elected officials and residents. This collaboration
is a very encouraging sign and the translation of a dialogue
authentic and respectful between project owners and project owners.

Dear Pascale GUEDOT, I have the great pleasure to present you the Equerre
Silver 2010, which was awarded to you by the jury of the
Instructor, in reward of an exemplary work and a work that
will, I am sure, become a model.

Dear Nicolas MICHELIN, I have just praised the humility and discretion of the
realization of Pascale GUEDOT. Yet I must admit that you
have been one of the first to call your wishes an architecture
“discreet” and “sustainable”. One of your words stuck in my mind because
it summarizes both your approach and the future of the architecture I
called “responsible” a few moments ago: building
“ordinary-extra” rather than “extraordinary” buildings. More than a game
There is a vision and an ethics.

With the eco-district «Grand Large», in Dunkerque, you do work,
urban planner. The town of Dunkerque has a history of
sometimes painful industrial, which left deep scars in
its urban fabric. For the past 20 years, thanks to the Neptune project, Dunkerque has
Dunkerque is being rebuilt. The “Grand Large” neighbourhood contributes to
this refit by making sustainable development a cornerstone
and social relations a requirement.

All dimensions of sustainable development - this is your turn to
strength - intersect and feed. Ecological ambition is evident
thanks to your constant concern for low energy consumption
buildings and a rainwater recovery system. Just like
the desire for social diversity through a multitude of
different functions and styles, from single-family homes to housing
collective. Through green spaces and open spaces, you reach
to sweep away the apparent contradiction between harbour and seaside and you
contribute to giving this new space in the city a true identity of

Although she wants to be sober, your architecture, dear Nicolas MICHELIN,
is a total architecture. And it is this immense quality that is
awarded through the jury’s “Special Mention” that I have the pleasure of
assign you tonight.

Before addressing the youngest of our laureates, allow me to
highlight the quality and coherence of this 2010 edition of Equerre
of Silver. She celebrates works sober and concerned about their
the environment, works that have water in common,
works that combine an architectural gesture and a deep intelligence of
sites and their history.

All these characteristics are characteristic of the RAUM workshop and the
its three young architects Julien PERRAUD, Benjamin BORÉ and Thomas
DURAND, which invite us to travel to the heart of Morbihan and ria
Etel. I am pleased to see you again because the year 2010 has already allowed me to
award you as winners of the Young Architects' Albums and
landscapers. I am particularly interested in this contest initiated by my
Ministry for the promotion of young French and European talent, including
the call for applications for the 2011-2012 session will be launched at the beginning of
summer. The Albums always offer great discoveries: you have made some
party, you confirm it today. Last spring, I remember
have been seduced by the diversity of your projects, by this insatiable curiosity
that pushes you to build, stage, install or even
screen printing, in the Vendée country and elsewhere. In these landscapes
moving swamps where the water shimmers, where the yolks slowly split the
water, you have rightly grasped the whims of colours and

You have thus worked on the hangar. Its place in our representations
is that of an austere, fragile building, reduced to its simple function
warehouse and shelter. You propose a new definition for
the oyster farmer with whom you thought: place of work, but also place
The name of your workshop, «Raum» -
«the piece», in German - is also well chosen and corresponds to your
a subtle yet strong approach. It summarizes your approach: the
building a renewed link between man and his environment, a link
which goes through the first of the shelters: the room in which each
lives, works, evolves.

I think I’m right in saying that 2010 was a great year.
for the three of you. This is the accomplishment of your work: you must
be proud, know that I share your joy. So I have the pleasure of you
Award the First Work Award 2010, which I am sure will call
no, more prestigious awards still in the future.

If this 2010 edition of the Instructor Architecture Awards has been so stimulating,
we owe it to the quality and relevance of the jury of the Instructor and his
President, Mr. Guillaume PROT. I thank them very much for their
contribution to the promotion of French architectural excellence and you
entrust to all my impatience to meet you next year to open
a «new page» of this great book which Hugo liked to describe
pages and inspect the binders.

Thank you.