The French pavilion is an eminent and innovative structure, which brings a dynamic image of living in this country, as much by its form and composition as by its contents. As an answer to the theme of the World Expo 2010, it displays the ability of France to formulate strong cultural and sustainable development proposals.
The pavilion reinterprets and rewrites the principles of the French style garden in a contemporary manner, drawing heavily on the ancient French culture of the garden in which geometry, the parterre flower bed and water are all present. The garden, a kind of contemporary “French embroidery”, begins on the panoramic terrace with bamboo floor slats lined with hedges, and continues as a suspended vertical garden with two sides forming the inner envelope of the building. Though the garden occupies the centre of the pavilion, it becomes a vertical hanging garden, transforming itself into four planted façades: the planting is the very substance of these facades. The design of the parterre flower bed is reinterpreted using a geometry borrowed from the layout of electronic printed circuits. It becomes a vertical double-sided garden: the outer envelope marked by sobriety, the inner envelope by diversity. The vegetation is more than an animation for the façade: it is its writing and materiality. The ground upon which the building stands is a reflective pool of water alongside which visitors queue before reaching the actual entry of the exhibition. This mirror is a kaleidoscope of reflections of the sky and the four planted façades. This pool of water can, like theatre curtains, retract into a narrow side channel to reveal a performance space covering the entire surface of the ground floor.
- Program / Project: SHANGHAI / French Pavilion
- Client: COFRES SAS
- Project management: Jacques Ferrier Architectures (lead consultant) + Agenceter + JM Weill
- Area: 6 000 m²
- Date: 2008-2010
- Amount: 35 M€
- Location: Shanghai, China