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The realisation of a Maison de la Chine

In June 2016, at the third session of French-Chinese high-level discussions on human exchanges, a framework agreement was signed in the presence of Liu Yandong, Vice Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China and Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of foreign affairs and international development concerning the construction of a Maison de la Chine on the Cité internationale’s campus. With this project, China and France affirm their communal desire to reinforce Franco-Chinese academic cooperation.

China, the 2nd country to join Cité 2025

The realisation of the house was entrusted to the municipality of Beijing and relied on the Beijing Capital Land consortium to implement and fund the project. The SCET, a consulting and engineering company that is a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts, was chosen to provide assistance to the project owner. This house will reinforce French-Chinese cooperation by responding to the growing need for housing for Chinese students and researchers who represent the largest mobile influx into France. At the Cité internationale, the number of Chinese residents has tripled over the last fifteen years and today Chinese is the 3rd most represented nationality on the campus.

The Maison de la Chine will have 300 rooms and collective living spaces to promote interactions between residents and to allow them to pursue their studies in an environment that is conducive to their academic success. The project will also include a multipurpose room that will allow the Maison de la Chine to be an important reception place and to diffuse Chinese intellectual, artistic and cultural productions. Like all the campus’s houses, the Maison de la Chine will practice “mixing” nationalities: it will welcome residents from other nations; in turn, Chinese residents will be able to live in other campus buildings.

A double inspiration: the Chinese Tulou and Haussmann island

In 2017, a jury chaired by Wang Ning, Deputy Mayor of Beijing, gathered to choose the project owner for the Maison de la Chine among which were four Sino-French finalist teams. The chosen project, realised by Atelier FCJZ and Coldefy & Associés Architectes Urbanistes, was inspired by the traditional communal houses in the province of Fujian and the density of the Haussmann island. The building has two interior gardens and a terrace garden. The rooms are linked by a large interior open gallery and are served by “promenade” stairs that cross the gardens. They each have an individual bathroom and are furnished with modular furniture in order to optimise the space.

The Maison de la Chine is an excellent addition for Chinese students in France but also for Franco-Chinese relations. This garden of harmony will be a place for academic exchanges but also a window into Chinese culture.

Zhai Jun, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in France
Work in progress

The construction of the Maison de la Chine-Jardin de l’harmonie is in progress. The structural work has been completed and the interior work will continue.

A modern interpretation

The Maison de la Chine is inspired by traditional communal houses in the province of Fujian, called Tulou, and the Haussmann island. The dual-aspect apartments are open both to the building’s interior and exterior.

The promenade stairs

The rooms at the Maison de la Chine link via an internal open gallery and are served by “promenade” stairs that cross the gardens.

A large urban and landscaping project

The Cité internationale had not increased its welcome capacity since the construction of the Maison de l’Iran in 1969. Cité 2025 is based on an ambitious development project which includes the construction of 10 new houses and the requalification and enlargement of its park.


Discover an exception heritage

Want to find out more about the Cité internationale’s heritage? The Heritage Center offers guided tours and a permanent exhibition space. All year round it offers events to the public to discover the urban, architectural, landscape and artistic evolution of this unique site in the world.