The Pavillon Bourguiba was inaugurated in December 2020. The ceremony took place in the presence of His Excellency Hichem Mechichi, Head of Government for the Tunisian Republic, Ofla Ben Ouda, Minister of higher education and scientific research, Frédérique Vidal, Minister of higher education, research and innovation, His Excellency Mohamed Karim Jamoussi, Ambassador of Tunisia in France, President of the board of administration for the Foundation of the Maison de Tunisie, Christophe Kerrero, Rector of the academic region of Île-de-France, Rector of the académie de Paris, Chancellor of the Universities of Paris and Île-de-France; Jean-Marc Sauvé, President of the National Foundation Cité internationale universitaire de Paris, Honorary Vice-President of the Conseil d’Etat.
The Pavillon Habib Bourguiba, built on the Tunisian government’s initiative, doubled the accommodation capacity at the Maison de Tunisie, built in 1953 by the architect Jean Sebag. Funded by a donation from the State of Tunisia, equity from the Fondation de la Maison de la Tunisie and a loan, the Pavillon Habib Bourguiba was constructed on a plot made available by the Chancellery of the Universities of Paris.
As the primary academic and scientific partner of Tunisia, France is the first international designation chosen by Tunisian students. The construction of this pavilion translated the communal will of Tunisia and France to reinforce this academic cooperation. It bears the name of Habib Bourguiba, the leader of the fight for independence and former resident at the Cité internationale. The pavillon Bourguiba offers its residents 199 rooms, communal spaces, a tea parlour and a 250-seat auditorium that is open to the public.
The Pavillon Bourguiba stands apart for its new architectural signal along the ring road. Designed by the “Explorations Architecture / Lamine Ben Hibet / Galerie Itinerrance / OTE / Otelio / BEGC” group, it expresses a perfect synthesis between modernity and Arabic-Islamic culture. Assistance to the project owner was entrusted to OSKAPROD (representative of the group) and MENIGHETTI. Since its conception, the architects entrusted the artistic direction to the Galerie Itinerrance who designed the metal mesh motif that evokes Arabic calligraphy. This second skin in aluminium was designed according to Arabic-Islamic lettering by the Tunisian calligraphy artist Shoof and was graphically adapted by the designer Wissem Soussi on behalf of the Galerie Itinérrance. The rooms are also bathed in a subdued light that is diffused by the hollowed pits of this modern wooden lattice.
The softness of the shapes, the emblematic façade, the atrium as a place of exchange, reconcile the search for identity and modernity in the image of Tunisia at the beginning of the 21st century.
The house is enveloped by a metallic second skin that represents not only a text but also the very essence of Arabic writing. This Arabic-Islamic lettering was designed by the Tunisian calligraphy artist Shoof and realised by the designer Wissem Soussi. 1892 letters are displayed on the façade following the curvature of the house.
The interior volume houses a large atrium, lit by a skylight around which there is a spiral staircase. A place of meeting and exchange, it covers 7 floors and unites all areas of the house.
The house’s façades are curved to limit the acoustic nuisance and to offer each room unique viewpoints. They are furnished with light wood furniture that is tailor-made and integrated into the curvature of the building.
The Pavillon Bourguiba offers 203 places, a communal kitchen, a 250-place auditorium, a foyer, a tea parlour with a terrace overlooking the park, a multipurpose study room and a patio courtyard recalling the traditional structure of Tunisian buildings.
Want to visit the Pavillon Habib Bourguiba? Guided tours allow you to discover this exceptional heritage.