The French Pavilion of the 13th Venice International Exhibition of Architecture was inaugurated on 28 August by Aurélie Filippetti, Minister of Culture and Communication and Sylviane Tarsot-Gillery, Deputy Director General of the French Institute. Pavilion and Grand Opening Images:

Architect and urban planner Yves Lion, curator of the French Pavilion, has seized the
Common Ground theme proposed by David Chipperfield, Director of this 13th
publishing, placing the French Pavilion at the heart of the problem of suburbs
in these large social housing neighbourhoods, which are referred to as

“Grand ensemble” is a term that has existed since 1935. In architecture and
in urban planning, it has become generic and ultimately… totally abstract.

The title of the Pavilion goes beyond this abstraction: GRAND &
TOGETHER” means that we are big and we are together because
in these neighbourhoods, we need greatness as much as we need community life.”
Yves Lion

The French Pavilion welcomes visitors to the «Dorsale Est», a city in
become 300 to 400,000 inhabitants that Yves Lion discerns in these eyes
territories in eastern Paris, between Marne-la-Vallée and Aulnay-sous-Bois, too often
and yet have extraordinary natural and human potential.

The «Eastern Ridge» is materialized in the centre of the Pavilion by a model
composed of three panels of about 30m2 each that integrate the
projects of the students of the National School of Architecture of the city
territories in Marne-la-Vallée (ENSAvt), which Yves Lion invited, with their
teachers, to the reflection and realization of GREAT & ENSEMBLES, joining
the ambitions of the dialogue proposed by David Chipperfield.

Around the model, three adjoining rooms reveal the immense workshop that was
- Room 2 “Tracking” presents the “Photo Boards” of the
photographer Eric Lion, who reveals the contrasts and richness of the landscapes
of these exceptional territories.
- Room 3 “Echos” gives the floor to the inhabitants who embody these territories to
through a film directed by the agency Campana Eleb Sablic.
- Room 4 “Ideas Lab” showcases the intellectual and
the profusion of ideas from the students of the ENSAvt and the Master 'Governing The
Large Metropolis» of Sciences-Po associated with the project.

The thirteenth Venice International Architecture Exhibition will take place from 29 August to 25
November 2012 in the Giardini and the Arsenale as well as in various other places of Venice.
This year, 55 countries are taking part in this major event, with, for the first time, the
presence of Angola, Kosovo, Kuwait, Peru and Turkey.

The French Institute, operator of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for cultural action
France, is responsible for ensuring the French representation in the
Venice Architecture Biennial.

The French Pavilion is produced by the French Institute and the
Communication/ Directorate-General for Heritage which entrusted the Commission of this
13th edition to the architect-urbanist Yves Lion.