A project born in 1947

The first negotiations in favour of the creation of a Maison de la Tunisie were debuted in 1947 between the Tunisian minister of public education and the Cité internationale. The donation act was signed by the bey of Tunis. The house was inaugurated in 1953. The convention stipulated that priority would be given to Tunisian students and French students born in Tunisia. After the independence in 1956, this article was modified by president Bourguiba who gave priority to Tunisians and named as director in charge of the house who was from the country. The donation act was signed by the bey of Tunis in the presence of the president of the French Republic.

The house holds the status of a foundation and is recognised as a public utility of which the board of directors is chaired by the Tunisian ambassador in France.

Architecture typical of the 1950s

The building was designed by Jean Sebag in a style that is characteristic of the fifties. It is made up of two wings at a right angle. It is distinctive by the quality of its interior equipment and its furniture designed by Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, Alain Richard, marcel Gascoin and Pierre Faucheux. The ground floor has communal spaces include a large meeting room with double-height ceilings and furnished by Charlotte Perriand and with a contribution from Sonia Delaunay for the large curtains with a red background and black and blue motifs.



A renovated house

Initially, the Maison de la Tunisie has 126 rooms, as well as additional communal spaces on the ground floor. But these were cut back in the 1970s to make room for additional rooms. The goal was to increase the building’s capacity. For the same reason, the south wing of the residence was extended in the 1980s, bringing the total number of rooms to 1999. In 2006, the State of Tunisia decided to completely renovate the house by restoring the communal areas and installing individual sanitary facilities in the rooms. The renovation project on the Maison de la Tunisie was entrusted to the Tunisian architect Karim Berrached. In 2018 the exterior was redesigned to accommodate a Thala marble terrace with a fountain and a tiered amphitheatre for the students. This was the result of a collaboration between the architectural agents RDAA Architects and Atelier 13.