On the proposal of the selection committee chaired by Philippe Madec, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Franck Riester, Minister of Culture, selected the project “Communities at Work”, worn by Christophe Hutin for the French Pavilion of the Venice International Architecture Biennale in 2020.

This decision is based on the opinion of a selection committee, chaired by professor and architect-planner Philippe Madec, who examined all the responses to the call for projects launched by the French Institute, operator of the French Pavilion in Venice. The purpose of this call was to select an architect or a multidisciplinary team, including a senior architect and a young architect under the age of 40.

Nineteen teams responded to the call for projects on the theme How we will live together? How will we live together? » proposed by the Lebanese architect Hashim Sarkis, dean of the MIT school of architecture and planning in Boston, commissioner general of this 17th Biennale.



Hashim Sarkis calls for a «new space contract». In the face of the urgent needs that society imposes on our living environment, Hashim Sarkis invites architects to engage and imagine spaces of cohabitation of a new kind, generous, solidary and bearer of values. He expects concrete proposals from national pavilions that place equity, inclusion and identity at the centre of living communities.

The proposal «Communities at work» by Christophe Hutin, constitutes a coherent contribution to the problem posed by Hashim Sarkis. In a context of growing political differences and economic inequalities, it exposes different ways in which people participate in the happy transformation of their living environment and their daily lives.

In particular, the committee highlighted the values of Christophe Hutin’s proposal, whose projects highlight architecture as a social project and a contribution to living together; favour an “architecture of frugality” consider the profession of architect as that of a mediator allowing the experimentation, participation and co-construction of the inhabitants in the projects; value experimentation as an art form through the collective construction site and highlight the participatory aspect and the performance dimension through video.

Finally, Christophe Hutin’s proposal goes beyond the French framework and broadens the international scene, especially South Africa, Argentina, the United States and Vietnam.

Christophe Hutin is an architect and teacher-researcher at the École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Bordeaux. Graduated in 2003, he studied for several months and documented townships and squatters camps in Soweto near Johannesburg.

This experience led to the publication of the book «L'enseignement de Soweto, Construire libre» by Éditions Acte Sud, co-written with Patrice Goulet. He then developed a recognized expertise on housing issues in South Africa which led him to design and organize since 2008 the annual EUNIC international architecture studio events supported by the European cultural institutes of South Africa in Johannesburg. These are workshops of work and exchange between architects, inhabitants, teachers and students on the issues of contemporary urban development in critical sites (informal housing, squat, etc.).

Specialized in sustainable architecture based on the construction economy, he has carried out many projects in the field of housing but also cultural public facilities. Several achievements bear witness to this research carried out in collaboration with architects Lacaton and Vassal (urban study of 50,000 housing units, transformation project of buildings G,H,I at the large park in Bordeaux).

Christophe Hutin is also a documentary director, set designer and curator. His photographic work on the inventory of Soweto Township shacks has given rise to numerous exhibitions and broadcasts, including the 2010 festival «Les rencontres d'Arles, Photographie». He recently proposed an installation for the exhibition Constellation. s» at the Arc en rêve architecture center, offering through the testimonies of inhabitants to document the daily life of the popular districts of Soweto, Detroit and Bordeaux.




Chairman of the committee : Philippe Madec

Philippe Madec, architect-urbanist (Paris, Rennes) - Philippe Madec is a writer and professor of architecture (EnsaB, EnsaM-La Réunion). He received the Legion of Honour for Ecology, Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2012; he is a full member of the Academy of Architecture (Paris) and the European Chapter of the Club of Rome (Brussels) as well as a UN expert for the HABITAT III summit.

Expert members of the commission:

Stéphanie Fabre - It is within the agency «de l'errance à la trace» founded with Eric Gillet that Stéphanie Fabre, architect by training, produces in the complicity of the duo a slow and confidential work. Away from any media coverage, they look for dark areas in their constructions and explore the issue of erasure. Stéphanie Fabre is a former resident of the Medici villa in Rome.

Camille Juza - After studying at Sciences po and political philosophy, Camille Juza became a documentary film director and radio producer for France Culture. For the past ten years, she has been working on urban planning, architecture and landscape issues. Author of a series on spatial planning for the Senate public (Attention grands travaux, 24x26'), she then produced in France Culture many long documentary formats: monographs of architects, monographs of buildings and thematic documentaries. She is also the producer of the summer program “Le génie des lieux”, a series of architectural walks. In 2019, she produced four shows in Berlin, Weimar and Tel Aviv for the Bauhaus’s 100th anniversary. She is currently making a documentary for France Télévisions on how the Trente Glorieuses transformed the French landscape.

Yves Lion - Urban architect, Yves Lion created his agency in 1974. Professor from 1976 in major cities such as Lausanne, Ljubljana, Mendrisio, Montreal, Karlsruhe, Vienna, Lyon and Paris, he founded in 1997 the Ecole nationale supérieure de la ville & des territoires in Marne-la-Vallée, which he ran until 2001, where he taught. He is now on the board of directors. In 2007 he received the Grand Prix de l'Urbanisme and in 2012 he was appointed curator of the French Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Representative of the Descartes Group, one of the ten winning teams of the Greater Paris International Consultation and as such, member of the AIGP Scientific Council. It undertakes numerous projects both in France and internationally: cultural facilities, teaching facilities or urban development.

Corinne Vezzoni - Urban architect, Corinne Vezzoni created her agency in 2000. Winner of the 2015 Woman Architect Award and of the Born Awards France 2018, member of the Academy of Architecture, she is a teacher at the University of Provence master of planning and urban planning and guest of the Schools of Arts and Crafts and Polytechnique Marseille. It is also part of the CESER (Economic and Social Council of the region) for the foresight section and the culture section. She is involved in the work of Greater Paris and in the reflection on the metropolitan project Aix-Marseille-Provence.

Institutional members of the committee:

Laurence Auer, Director of Culture, Education, Research and the Network, Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs; Philippe Barbat, Director General of Heritage, Ministry of Culture; Pierre Buhler, President of the French Institute and Agnès Vince, Director of Architecture, Ministry of Culture.