Address by Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication, on the occasion of the ceremony of the remisedes insignes of Chevalier in the order of the Legion of Honour in François Leclercq and Marc Mimram, of Chevalier in the national order of merit to Jacques Ferrier, and Commander in the order of the Artset Letters to François Grether.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

As you know, architecture was originally part of the Ministry of
Culture. Since its return in 1996, I believe that its
integration is now complete as my Department defines,
coordinates and evaluates the entire state policy in this area. That
in the field of higher education, in the field of
in its promotion and dissemination, but also in
the defence of its economic and legal interests, and of course
through the tutelage he exercised over the national order of architects.
Architecture is a priority for me because its activity is at the heart
issues of the 21st century. Indeed, my department follows the
architects, and ensures their training at the beginning and throughout their
career. The ambitious program of renovation or creation of schools
of architecture. Currently, these are
the schools of Clermont-Ferrand, Strasbourg - with you, dear Marc
Mimram - and Toulouse whose projects are ongoing.
In parallel with this ambitious plan, and in line with the strong guidelines
which have been set by the President of the Republic, I have engaged the network
schools in new requirements for pedagogy and
research. The aim is to better train architects so that they
accompany elected officials, public or private contractors, by being
attentive to citizens' development concerns
In connection with the Ministry of Ecology, we are able to
propose the creation of a City of Sustainable Construction, which federates the
schools likely to be among the facilities of excellence,
through a call launched in the framework of the Grand Emprunt and initiatives
of excellence.
I would also like to stress that the teaching of architecture is
became the first teaching of the ministry inserted in the teaching
by ensuring that the 20,000 students in this field have access to
degrees. I would add that their inclusion
is remarkable since 85% of graduates have
three years after leaving school.
I also attach great importance to the support given to
professionals throughout their careers, starting with youth
architects and landscapers with the Albums des jeunes device
architects and landscapers. Similarly, efforts to
promote access to architecture competitions for students and youth
professionals translate this will. But I would not forget the
architects. The recognition of their creativity translates, between
by the awarding of the National Grand Prix de
architecture, whose name I will have the pleasure of proclaiming
next winner next February.
Finally, I would not like to conclude this opening statement without mentioning
the attention I pay to the economic difficulties encountered by your
profession. A few projects await us in the coming months and I
want to tell you the attention I pay to it: the defense of principles
of the MOP law, in particular in the modalities of
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and Orders in Council
Grenelle Law Enforcement, Architectural Compensation – I think
to competitions and fees - finally the transposition of the
Directive services. These are difficult subjects, which arise in a way
acute; these are also essential subjects, I measure, for the future of
your profession. Know that my ministry and I are
extremely attentive and that we will continue to be in the months to
future. In my opinion, the statutory changes in the profession are
inseparable from the preservation of the decisive role that the architect and the planner
are called to play in our society.
It is enough to consider all the architectural projects carried out yesterday and
today by the Ministry of Culture and Communication for
measure the progress made. Our ambition must be that of a
for a quality landscape, a manifesto in acts of creation
and culture. Future achievements will not fail to
witness: The Louvre-Lens, by the agency Sanaa, the Mucem, by the architect
Rudy Ricciotti, National Archives, by Massimiliano Fuksas, and
I have heard the schools I mentioned earlier.
Let me say a few words about Greater Paris, a subject on which we
are fully mobilized. The proposals issued by the Workshop
Greater Paris International Airport on the Greater Paris International
presented to the President of the Republic on November 10:
As you know, they were extremely well received.
Today and in the days to come, I will have the opportunity to decorate
many architects. Through this gesture, I want to signify my
my deep interest and attachment to this profession as well as to
Her ambitions for the City.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the essentials for thinking and governing cities
consists in thinking about social changes, new relationships that
weave with the territory, to the culture of mobility, lives in journeys and
in stages, finally to the new importance of free time. In these
conditions, the question facing planners, architects and
is the “making society together” when we are
in a society of privatization of the social link and individualization of
trips. If we are not careful, we are going to a company of
political fragmentation, towards the resurgence of archaic or
still towards the proliferation of these «non-live» identified by
anthropologist Marc Augé. The challenge is to transform each
respect for individuals and in the correct interpretation of
new forms of solidarity woven into the digital age. In other words,
to think and administer the city of the twenty-first century, one must know its
past, its present, but also carry a vision and imagine its future.
It is precisely this ambition which has been skillfully carried by the whole
the recipients – that is the word we are honouring tonight.
Dear François Leclercq,
Both practitioner and theorist, architect and passionate urban planner,
renowned professional in France and abroad, you have reached,
during your career, to deal with more and more scales of intervention
with the same requirement.
You are a brilliant student at La Villette School of Architecture
(UP6 ) from which you graduated in 1981. Barely a year later, you are
winner of the prestigious competition Plan Architecture Nouvelle (PAN XII). Very
early distinguished for your work, you quickly assert yourself on the stage
French architecture. Thus, in 1985, you become laureate of the Albums
of the Young Architecture, which reward the most
promising. You chain the marks of recognition of the
In 1988, you were awarded the First Work Award of the
Instructor for the realization of 44 studios for young officials of
Ministry of Finance in the 13th district of Paris.
In April 1990, you founded the agency Dusapin-Leclercq with the architect
Fabrice Dusapin, where you will be driving most of
your career. Success is immediate. Orders are coming in,
projects are multiplying.
Concerned about integration issues, you engage
important achievements on collective housing, particularly in Ile-
France, one of the major challenges for contemporary architecture.
Versatile, you diversify by creating buildings
office, such as Accenture’s head office in Paris 13th or
office buildings for France Télécom, in Arcueil. You realize
also many public facilities, always striving to
find tailor-made answers in the development of these adapted projects
to the urban and human fabric: the Lycée Henry Sellier, in Livry-Gargan or the
reconstruction of the Lycée Jean Moulin in Rosny-sous-Bois.
But you don’t lose sight of «your desire for territory» and you
gradually invest the wider field of urban development,
always mindful of economic, sociological and
You are thus involved in the development of the
Valenciennes in Lille or the requalification of the Vache Noire district in
Arcueil, but also on major sites such as the study of urbanity
the Defence business district “from the Seine to the Seine”. You
successfully develop your activities abroad, such as
the urbanization of the Marina district in Casablanca.
Your talent continues to be recognized throughout your career: you
receive the special prize of the Silver Equerre jury, you are made member
of the Academy of Architecture, you are finally promoted to the rank of knight
in the order of Arts and Letters.
Passionate and eager to transmit your knowledge, you teach since
many years at the École nationale supérieure d'architecture de
Marne-la-Vallée, a school whose specificity and trademark is
specifically land use planning.
Ultimate recognition of your expertise in this field, you are
invited to participate, within the collective Descartes, with the architect Yves
Lion, to the International Research and Foresight Consultation on the
Greater Paris, led by the Ministry of Culture, at the
President of the Republic.
Today, dear François Leclerc, for all these reasons that make you
a professional and respected by all, we make you, at
name of the President of the Republic and by virtue of our powers
conferred, knight of the Legion of Honor.
Dear Marc Mimram,
I am not talking to a simple architect tonight, but to a
Gustave Eiffel of modern times, both thinker, creator and
building, your work continues beyond the limits of the national territory
to dress today the world’s largest cities of your
metal prowess.
Your training beautifully reflects your vision of architecture
as a cross-discipline, the fruit of shared work, a repository of issues
both conceptual, technical, aesthetic and human. After studies
in Mathematical Sciences and at the National School of Bridges and Highways,
you obtain the diploma of architect. Holder of a «Master in Civil
engineering» of the University of Berkeley and a DEA of Philosophy, you
consider the architect as the actor of a polyphonic work. You
are sensitive to all aspects of a project, to all the actors of the project,
at all times of what you call “working together”.
In 1981, you founded the Marc Mimram agency, which brings together
skills of architects, engineers, designers and economists.
Your First Significant Achievements Make It Into the Landscape
innovative metal structures, such as the famous
Solférino bridge on the Seine in Paris, now Leopold bridge
Sédar-Senghor, who reconciles, thanks to your gifts, the banks of the Seine.
You are also actively involved in construction
public recreational facilities, stadiums, swimming pools, ice rinks.
Your great strength is to have been able to impose a «Mimram style» to great
scale. Your works are projects that are rooted in the study
of matter, but also in the profound changes linked to the
globalisation, increased mobility and trade.
Conscious that architecture leads to a change in everyday life, to
a change in ways of living and acting, a renewal of the bond
social, you seek, through your work, to integrate the transformation
to melt the change in continuity.
As a true visionary, you give meaning to your achievements, and
especially bridges, symbols of your shared art: after the city
«trained» discovered in Manhattan by Céline in the Voyage au bout de
at night, you propose to put the city back to bed and “inhabit the infrastructure”,
think of it as a “common place” of socialization and sharing, in
the heart of the city. The infrastructure has become meaningful and
create a meeting between the actors of each of the banks, a bridge
bringing a peaceful image in the metropolitan territory.
You quickly become one of the most striking figures of
architecture. Since 2005, a series of major
bridges and bridges was entrusted to you in China, country of gigantism and
large scale, landscape in perpetual reconstruction
Urbanization is now a major issue.
At the same time as this fruitful production, you have participated extensively in
the diffusion of the discipline through your activities as a teacher at the School
architecture of the City and the Territories in Marne-la-Vallée, but also
through your writings or through permanent or travelling exhibitions, which
have seen your projects travel to France, Italy, Germany or Brazil.
Your creativity and dynamism have radiated in many
competition: you are chosen to participate in the restructuring and
the extension of the National School of Architecture of Strasbourg,
then you are appointed to realize the new stadium of Roland Garros in
Paris, which every year sees cameras from around the world
it is a true "place of memory" of sport, but also a theatre
elegance and style. Your talent has enabled you to
many prestigious awards (Silver Medal for Research and
technique of the Academy of Architecture, 1994; Silver Equerre of
Instructor), but also to be regularly rewarded by the Union of
Metal Construction. You also received the title of Knight
in the National Order of Merit in 2005.
«Landscape disintegrator», as you like to define yourself, you do not
stop renewing this “art of transformation” of which you are
the craftsman.
That is why, on behalf of the President of the Republic and under the
we bestow upon you the power of the Legion
of Honor.
Dear Jacques Ferrier,
Architect of great talent, ardent defender of urban planning with face
human, apostle of detail, you have carried the colours of the
France by being the artisan of the extraordinary Pavilion of the Exhibition
shanghai universal.
You brilliantly combine the training of engineer and architect, in
being both a graduate of the Ecole Centrale de Paris and the Ecole Nationale
Superior of Architecture of Paris Belleville. After a career in
London, you create in Paris your own agency: Jacques Ferrier
Architectures. Your first achievements are quickly recognized: you
receive, only three years after creating your agency, the price of the
The Monitor’s first work for the Materials Research Centre
of the Ecole des Mines de Paris, in Evry.
You quickly become the pioneer of ecological architecture
innovative – you are one of the first to use panels
photovoltaics – but you don’t want to be the herald of architecture
sustainable: a sustainable building is for you, above all, a building
lasting. The recognition of your peers is not long in coming.
In 1999, the AMO awarded you the mention Architecture et lieux de
for the SAGEP Water Plant in Joinville-le-Pont. Nominated
several times at the Equerre d'Argent, your work is also proposed by
your peers to receive, among the five architects selected, the Grand Prix
National Architectural Award, the highest national architectural award,
that the Ministry of Culture and Communication relaunched in 2004.
In 2005, you will be made a knight in the Order of Arts and
Anxious to place you permanently in the renewal of
techniques, ideas, methods, materials, you design with
collaborators the FGP architecture laboratory, collective of
urban and architectural research. You like to explore, discover,
innovation. You will also build the remarkable Hypergreen tower,
ecological tower prototype that represents the culmination of your
knowledge of high-rise architecture and
sustainable development. In 2007, this prototype will earn you the Best
conceptual project».
Anxious to transmit your knowledge, you taught in the Schools
of Architecture, such as that of Saint-Etienne or that of
Brittany. You have also been at the origin of many
exhibitions and conferences on the sustainable vision of
architecture and urban planning, and you are the author of several books
monographs. Prolific architect, you are now regularly
invited to participate in the most important international competitions.
Considering the role of the architect as primordial in the creation of a
more adapted and peaceful environment, you engage in the field
planning, including urban studies, such as
dedicated to the Renault fields in Boulogne-Billancourt. Refusing the
modern coldness and technicality, advocating an architecture that appropriates
the territories, defending the importance of the pleasure of living in the city, you
always guide in a technical expertise put at the service of
the human.
Your recent achievements reflect this ideal, French high school
Beijing International at the Jiading ZhuQiao School and Hich Tech Park at
Shanghai, via the Collège de France in Paris. But one of your
greatest masterpieces is the Pavilion of France for the exhibition
Shanghai universal. Building suspended on a water mirror, dressed
a fine concrete mantilla and sheltering in its heart a suspended garden, it
is the expression of French refinement, inviting pleasure and
building bridges between our two cultures. It was the pavilion the
more visited by all, welcoming more than 10 million visitors from
Architect of the senses, designer of detail, creator of link, you have
contributed to advancing an essential reflection on the pleasure of living in
Dear Jacques Ferrier, on behalf of the President of the Republic, we
let us make Knight in the Order of Merit.
Dear François Grether,
Renowned architect, you have established yourself as one of the greatest
planners of our country. You are also a man of conviction
known for your innate sense of dialogue and determination.
Architect and urban planner, you choose immediately, as soon as you obtain
the public service. You are starting your career
first in Algeria at the Ministry of the Interior, then for more than twenty
at the Atelier Parisien d'Urbanisme (APUR) where you are responsible
studies. In particular, you will direct the studies for the
sector of La Villette, the Eastern Paris programme plan and the ZAC
Seine Rive Gauche. You will participate in the preparation of documents
very quickly becoming aware of the relationship between time and
the space that characterizes the fabric of the city.
In 1992, you founded your own agency, which very quickly became a
reference in urban planning. You thus realize the design of
numerous and important urban projects in several cities and sites such
that Lyon Confluences, the restructuring of the Parc des Expositions in Paris
in 1995 or the realization of the ZAC des Berges de Seine-Beaujon in Clichy
the Garenne. Your numerous works testify to the choice place that
you stand today in the world of French architecture.
You believe in the possibility of architecture and urban planning in
services. You are committed to a mission of
advice and assistance in Charente Maritime following the storm Xynthia
ravaged the region in February 2010. Passionate about this mission, you have
met, on behalf of the Littoral Workshop of the Ministry of Ecology, of
Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea, all the mayors
of this part of the department. You are fully invested, at the
request of elected officials, to propose an operational project on the
and build an urban and landscape plan. Your
great generosity leads you to participate in conscious achievements
respect for the people and the territory shaped. The Erdre Porterie project
for the city of Nantes, which plans to build 1400 housing units, aims to
to promote social diversity and the creation of an "eco-neighbourhood".
Just like these projects and the many eco-districts you have the
workload, your work is unanimously recognized for your involvement and
your ability to address issues of different types and sizes.
From large projects to city districts, all projects deserve
persuasion and finesse in the mastery of the work. During your
nominated for the Grand Prix de l'urbanisme in 2007, the jury
ability to initiate and implement processes, but also your great
ability to pass on your convictions to elected officials to obtain
Speaker in France and abroad, you are also a tireless
teacher, dear François Grether, at the National Higher School
architecture of Nancy and Paris la Villette, at the École Spéciale
Institute of Political Studies, École Polytechnique
Federal of Lausanne. Ultimate recognition of your talents as an architect,
you are a member of the Academy of Architecture.
For your brilliant career, for your continued commitment to
quality urban planning, François Grether, on behalf of the Republic
French, we make you Commander in the order of Arts and