The Minister of Equality of Territories and Housing, dear Cecile
Minister of Higher Education and Research, dear Geneviève
Mr. Acting Director General of Heritage, dear Bertrand-Pierre Galey
Mr. Jean-Michel Knop, Director of the Grenoble School of Architecture
Director of the School of Architecture, dear Nathalie Mezureux
Mr. Le Professeur, dear Pascal Rollet
Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to the Ministry of Culture and Communication, welcome to my dear colleagues, welcome to the entire winning team of the International Solar Decathlon Competition 2012, the Rhône-Alpes Team, which I am pleased to honour the invitation that we collectively passed on to them as soon as we learned of this magnificent success, a success” with the way”, as sports commentators say, since you won the race from start to finish and won four of the intermediate awards, including those for architecture and innovation, before receiving the general award.
The quality of your project justified it, but also its ambition, which, for the first time I believe, proposed not an individual house but through the two top floors of a collective building a whole concept of ecological district. The formal elegance shown by the images of the project, the quality of the atmosphere and the technological quality make this prototype more than just a school exercise. This may be a reality tomorrow since social backers are interested in its implementation.
We are therefore very proud of you, my colleagues and myself. I am particularly so because it is around two schools of architecture, Grenoble and Lyon, and this magnificent common tool called the Grands Ateliers de l'Isle d'Abeau that the energies of engineering students, students of business schools, have federated, students in science and technology, companions of the Tour de France and partner companies. They met under the direction of Professor Pascal Rollet, who, like many of his colleagues at the School of Architecture, is also a practicing architect. Thank you to you for having managed to join us while, precisely, you were retained this afternoon for a rendering of competition.
To win this competition, he was able to bring together creative imagination, technical innovation, social commitment and environmental awareness for sustainable development. Values that are at the heart of architecture and its teaching.
I would also like to salute the teams from the Ecoles d'architecture de Bordeaux and Paris-Malaquais, who took part in the competition and who, because of their specificities, showed the diversity of talents that France could put in the competition.
This event is finally an opportunity for me to reiterate my total confidence in the Schools of Architecture so that a prospective vision of our living environment finds a concrete, cultural, shared expression.
The distinction we are celebrating today is a new encouragement, after the successes achieved, especially in Grenoble, in future projects, and also the good evaluations by the AERES, to support this network of schools; I tried to do that in a very difficult fiscal environment. I have obtained for them the sanctuarization of their means of operation and more than fifty creation of posts that will allow us to further stimulate research. The consultation to which I have invited them, and which I will be launching in a few weeks, will enable them to chart their own paths for a promising future, in line with the requirements of a changing society.
I also hope we can valiantly defend our title at the next Solar Decathlon in 2014. Cécile Duflot will return to this in a moment.
It will take place, as you know, in France, on the lands of an establishment of the Ministry of Culture since it will be hosted by the prestigious National Domain of Versailles. And of course my services are fully involved in its preparation.
Congratulations again and thank you all!