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Tunisia - Expo Paris 1937

Tunisia at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1937
© H. Chipault
Architect(s) : Valensi

This pavilion consisted of a village and a harbour in which a sailing ship was fitted out as a restaurant.

The banks were like those of the Tunisian ports with their line of small boats, their old cast iron cannon which defended the pass, the Moorish café, the Kouba, their heap of fishing nets and jars and potteries of the island of Djerba.

The picture was completed by a decor familiar to the tiered villages; descending towards the edge, the houses covered with terraces or domes formed a cascade of white walls, dominated by the minaret.

A terrace allowed the visitor to enjoy the view while sipping mint tea or concentrated coffee.

The interior of the section was like a buzzing beehive whose cells, spread around the building, were designed according to the architecture of each of their native regions.

The first of the courtyards, that of Tozeur, was adorned with an assembly of bricks arranged in geometric designs influenced by Berber art.

This was followed by the Sfax courtyard and the Tunisian courtyard, which served the official offices and the homes of the small population of the section. It was a studied reconstruction of the courtyard of the opulent Tunisian bourgeois house.

A large room was dedicated to the arts proper and allowed craftsmen and writers to present their work.

Outside, the facades were inspired by a northern Regency street.

Characteristic plants of the country: cactus, palm trees, aloes, amaranth mass of bougainvilleas added a cheerful note.

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