Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Françoise Nyssen, Minister of Culture, welcome the inauguration of the French Pavilion of the 16e International exhibition of architecture - Biennale di Venezia.

The Infinis Places proposal, from the Encore Heureux team made up of architects Nicola Delon, Julien Choppin and Sébastien Eymard, showcases places produced in an original and inventive way generating quality architectural processes.

Focusing on the whole territory, the project promotes initiatives by civil society and communities that embody a certain freedom of experimentation in the spirit of the “Licence to Do” and the possibilities offered by architecture. Through the values of programmatic freedom and generosity that it activates, it fully responds to the theme Freespace, chosen by the two commissioners general of the 16e edition of the Venice International Architecture Biennial, Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara.

The inauguration of the French Pavilion was attended by Laurence Tison-Vuillaume, Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Culture, and Pierre Buhler, President of the French Institute, the operator of the French Pavilion.

The curators propose four exhibition spaces that present and define what an Infinite Place is. Like a cabinet of curiosity, the large central hall of the Pavilion presents objects taken from each of the ten places as well as augmented models. This first room seeks to transmit the soul of these places: to expose the sensitive of what takes place.

In the room on the right, the visitor continues to explore these ten places through a series of photographs, Instants d'infinis by Alexa Brunet, which stages the actors of these places for original portraits. Jochen Gerner’s drawings accompany these photographs and chronicle the history of these places.

In the room on the left, thirty-two individual or collective words of those who carry the projects, initiate them, build them, study them, manage them and live them are gathered. They are illustrated with portraits by Jochen Gerner.

Visitors to the Pavilion are also invited to contribute to an inventory of the infinite places spread throughout the world in the room on the right. To enable them to fill in the sheets made available to them, the commissioners identified certain characteristics of an Infinite Place:

  • A place that awakens a forsaken
  • Inspiring but not reproducible
  • A place of welcome, refuge, solidarity
  • A place of work, life, celebration
  • A place that explores collective governance
  • A place that cultivates the unexpected
  • A place without obligation to consume
  • A place with high ceilings
  • A fragile yet powerful place

In the very last room, a workshop has been set up in which the ten invited venues will regularly intervene in turn or collectively, during the six months of the exhibition. The Pavilion is then activated and becomes a space for experimentation, work and collective design.

The team

Still Happy

Nicola Delon, Julien Choppin and Sébastien Eymard


The Infinite Places 

Hôtel Pasteur (Rennes)

Le Centquatre-Paris (Paris)

Le Tri Postal (Avignon)

The Great Neighbours (Paris)

6B (Saint-Denis)

The Convention (Auch)

La Friche la Belle de Mai (Marseille)

The Medici Workshops (Clichy-sous-Bois-Montfermeil)

La Ferme du Bonheur (Nanterre)

La Grande Halle (Colombelles)

The ministers and the French Institute would like to thank all the partners who wished to commit themselves to the creation of the French Pavilion of the International Biennial of Architecture in Venice.

In particular, they express their gratitude to the Emerige Endowment Fund and the SNCF for their exceptional and decisive commitment. They would like to commend the Grand Paris Express Endowment Fund, the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion, the Caisse des dépôts, the Quartus Group, the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, the Plaine Commune and the SEM Plaine Commune for their decisive support. They welcome the involvement of many communities: the city of Paris, the city of Rennes, the city of Auch, the city of Clichy-sous-Bois, the city of Montfermeil, the Grand Paris Grand Est and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Finally, they pay tribute to the companies BTP Consultants, REI Habitat, Paris Batignolles Aménagement, Lumion, Cenomane, APUR, Velum and Ambiance Lumière for their generous commitment.