The French Pavilion was designed by the architectural firms L'Atelier du Prado and Celnikier & Grabli Architectes and the office OTE Ingénierie and built by Besix France, on the specific theme "Light, Light".
With its virtuous design, it deploys 3 pillars of bio-climatism: renewable, clean and controlled energy, sustainable materials and a circular economy at work.
This is an eco-responsible pavilion, whose facade and roof are covered with 2500m2 of Sunstyle® photovoltaic tiles that produce 60% of its energy consumption. The pavilion is therefore almost self-sufficient in energy and uses low consumption equipment. In addition, one of its particularities is its capacity to be dismantled and reused very easily.
The 1160 m2 of gardens on the esplanade have been designed as a real place of relaxation and rest for visitors who wish to take some fresh air in the shade.
Heritage, art and technological innovation define this four-storey pavilion, which is 55 metres wide, 63 metres deep and 21 metres high, making it the 8th highest pavilion at the Expo and offering an unobstructed panoramic view of the entire site.
The French Pavilion is organised in three stages, differentiating between the general public and professional areas, and allowing a mix of different audiences in the shared areas. The organisation of the pavilion responds to the extraordinary number of visitors, estimated at several tens of thousands of visitors per day in all areas combined.
These different levels highlight the professional and reception areas on the upper floors, which are specifically dedicated to partners.
On the ground floor are the permanent and temporary exhibitions, accessible to the general public, which will also showcase the partners.
The French Pavilion thus aims to highlight the fastest mobility that exists, but also to embody the Enlightenment, a symbol since the 18th century of the sharing and dissemination of knowledge. The French Pavilion aims to promote the French model of innovation, which enables the reconciliation of sustainable development and the international competitiveness of companies for a model of connected and sustainable cities and territories at the service of citizens and the common good.
At the heart of the project is a strong idea: to start the visitor's journey from the esplanade of the French Pavilion so that the waiting line is experienced as a full-fledged experience of relaxation and strolling and hosts two artistic proposals with Sepand Danesh and lille3000, for a total immersion of visitors as soon as they enter the Pavilion.
Inside, the permanent exhibition - spread over more than 800m2 - will showcase the assets of the French city in an organic scenography combining sound, light, perfume and materials. Designed by the "Immersive(s)" collective, of which the SNAIK agency is a part, with Jean Marie Priol as artistic director, it has been conceived as a striking immersive and educational experience.
To mark the spirit of the Enlightenment, the pavilion exhibits, in the "Lumière, Lumière" space, an original edition of the 35 volumes of Diderot and d'Alembert's encyclopaedia, on loan from the Archives Nationales.
Permanent exhibitions and visitor experiences
"Antarctica, a laboratory of the future" offers another immersive experience at the heart of the cutting-edge research conducted in Antarctica on global warming. The CNRS offers a journey first in the dark at a depth of -70 metres, with the sounds of the ice and penguins diving, and then at an altitude of over 3,000 metres, at the Concordia station, in the heart of Antarctica, where there is more than just silence.
As for the Centre national d'études spatiales (Cnes), it will offer visitors nothing less than a journey through the universe. In the course of a one-and-a-half hour film, they will be taken on a journey through the International Space Station (ISS) and the planets of the solar system before venturing further afield.
Saint-Exupéry's "The Little Prince" offers an imaginary journey, showing the many connections between art, science, technology and culture.
A model of a museum ship is on display, as is an airship for air cargo transport, an "eco-friendly" solution of the future imagined by the start-up Flying Whales.
The temporary exhibitions are dedicated to five artistic areas of expertise:
- digital art (Histovery x L'Oréal on Notre-Dame)
"Notre-Dame de Paris, l'Expérience" is a virtual historical immersion, presented by L'Oréal and produced by the start-up Histovery in collaboration with the Établissement public. Visitors will be able to discover the construction site in the Middle Ages, witness the coronation of Napoleon, the construction of the spire by Viollet-le-Duc and plunge into the heart of current security operations.
- tableware (Chalhoub Group)
- kinetic art (Atelier Cruz-Diez)
- architecture (Société du Grand Paris x Dominique Perrault)
- fashion (Jean Paul Gaultier's fifty years of design)
Jessica Préalpato, Pastry Chef of the Alain Ducasse restaurant, and Thomas Pesquet, French astronaut of the ESA are the Godmother and Godfather of the French Pavilion.