Walking through someone else’s dream


The Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans is a “biennial of collections” constructed as a confluence of memory: the memories of the works in the collection and those of the guest architects and artists. The idea is to question them regarding the ways in which they wander through our dreams and fears, in order to come back and tell us our story. The works produced by the fifty three guest architects and artists sometimes strike up conversations with history or grapple with the tensions of the present. The future is the dream dimension that we must share and that we must traverse.

Patrick Bouchain is our guest of honour. With him, we have taken stock of the act of exhibiting just as we take stock of architecture. The primary work of the Biennale is that of the Frac building—Les Turbulences—which we have turned upside down and heightened, so that it can be experienced differently. Constructing an architectural exhibition is also, and above all, experimenting with the very site in which we find ourselves. Like a final gesture, before moving

on, Patrick Bouchain revisits the hall of Les Turbulences, rendering it a Haut-lieu de l’hospitalité. It is the territory that will host all the hospitality in the world and will be home to the “36 001e commune de France” founded Le PEROU (Le Pôle d’Exploration des Ressources Urbaines).

The Biennale programme is deployed throughout the city of Orléans but also throughout the region. “Reality”—town planning, streets, walls, noise, and odours—thus becomes part and parcel of the overall narrative.

Tribute is paid to the Spanish experimental architecture scene, from the 1960s through to today’s young generation, on the street in Orléans, rue Jeanne-d’Arc. Twenty-two flags designed for the occasion are installed in the place where the city celebrates its popular festivals—the Loire Festival and the Joan of Arc Festival—through its tradition of decorative flagging. Through this act, the Biennale takes place not only in the public space, but also in it’s tradition, it’s customs.

At Les Tanneries, Centre d’art contemporain in Amilly, the first major monograph exhibition dedicated to Guy Rottier once again draws on absurdity, radicality, and transgression, but also a “subversive tenderness” as a mainspring for innovation in architecture and town planning. The Biennale also provides a forum for discussing the memory of the territories absent from the collection. This is the case of a dialogue that we engage in with the work of Demas Nwoko and the conference dedicated to him. It will be clear by now that the Biennale traverses territories, from the region and the city, while also traversing the dreams of architects and artists. The Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans is underpinned by the hope that visitors will find themselves reflected in the works when they pass through the various spaces and locations that this event invests.

Abdelkader Damani & Luca Galofaro

Artists and architectsMore


Land of dreams to dreamland: dream of a state to a state of a dream

When addressing the architectural scene in Palestine a set of inquiries remain unanswered. Many scholars focus on the history and heritage of the Palestinian architecture; others focus on the future of Palestine and discuss concepts related to decolonizing the architecture.

With the participation of : Mr Dr. Yasser Elsheshtawy, Mme Arch. Nadia Habash, Mr Dr. Arch. Shadi Ghadban, Mr Dr. Abaher El Sakka
Scientific coordination: Mme Dr. Shaden Awad, Mme Arch. Dima Yaser, Mr Dr. Yasid Al Rifai

Is it still possible to be a stranger?

The purpose of the day is to explore the virtues of strangeness, whatever the situation. What stranger could we want to be? We propose therefore a reflection on the following theme: it is necessary to be a stranger.

Scientific coordination: Abdelkader Damani et Christian Ruby

News from utopia : cartography of architectural research

The ‘cartography of architectural research’ symposium will bring together/architecture schools from around the world to lay the groundwork for a research program in experimental architecture that the Frac Centre-Val de Loire will launch during this first edition.

Scientific coordination: Luca Galofaro et Abdelkader Damani
Invited school: Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles, USA / Università di Camerino, SAAD Ascoli Piceno, Italie / Architectural Theory, University of Innsbruck, Autriche / Institute for Advanced architecture of Catalonia, Barcelone, Espagne / Cooper Union, school of architecture, NYC, USA / Arquitectura en la Universidad Nacional de La Matanza, Buenos Aires, Argentine / Ecole nationale supérieure d’architecture de Nantes, France

Inevitability of Culture, Limits of counter-culture? Conference about and with Patrick Bouchain

Culture always tends to smooth, level and “salvage”. It also provides the luster of a sense of dignity. Meanwhile counter- culture is destined to be marginal unless the elite ‘officially’ accepts it.

Guest of honor: Patrick Bouchain
Scientifique coordination: Jean-Louis Violeau
Speakers: Loïc Blondiaux, Xavier Fouquet, Anne Debarre, Michel Bertreux, Aurélien Bellanger, Julien Perraud, Catherine Dohmen, Gilles Delalex, Hubert Tonka, Encore Heureux

Mental Land

A recent model reflecting a local, spontaneous and collective approach, an approach that began its distillation in unoccupied sites or wastelands appears to be opposed to traditionally planned, fortified and channeled land. Architects change status and cooperate, pursuing and sharing projects with the inhabitants.

Speakers: Patrick Bouchain, « architect » and builder, André Guillerme, engineer and historian


Since 2016, the Frac Centre-Val de Loire has been developing an ambitious extra-mural program. Alongside the implementation of a new policy for disseminating and exhibiting the collection, this new development is also being asserted by a physical inclusion of artistic and architectural research—on a regional level, seen as a tangible space for experiments and new narratives. By spanning a six-month period, the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans also intends to infuse and infiltrate reality through programs involving time-frames, maturation, porosity and capillarity as active principles of creation.

During the Biennale, two residencies will be organized as part of particularly strong and structure-providing partnerships in the territorial program of the Frac Centre-Val de Loire: the National School of Art in Bourges and the Transpalette Contemporary Art Centre on one hand, and, on the other, the Georges Daumézon Departmental Hospital Centre situated at Fleury-les-Aubrais. The works produced in situ will be on view from January 2018 onward.

Saba Innab - Architect in residency

Saba Innab is an architect, urbanism researcher and artist working in Amman (Jordan) and Beirut (Lebanon). She is a graduate of the Jordan University of Science and Technology. The work of Saba Innab relates to urbanism and the process of the production and reproduction of space. She has worked with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on the reconstruction of the Nahr el Bared camp in North Lebanon – a project nominated for the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Her work was presented at the 6th Biennale of Marrakech (2016), the 7th Home Works show at Beirut (2015) and at the Museum of Modern Art of Warsaw (2015). Saba Innab will be welcomed at the National Higher School of Art (ENSA) of Bourges during the Biennale in order to produce a brand new work, and she will be presenting her latest research. She will be providing Turbulences with a series of models that pose questions relating to architecture without earth.

Mengzhi Zheng – Artist in residency

Mengzhi Zheng left his native China at the age of seven when he came to France. He studied graphic design before joining the Villa Arson in Nice from 2006 to 2011, the same year he obtained his Diploma in Artistic Expression at DNSEP. During that same period he studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt ( 2009 to 2011).The artist has developed a visual approach related to space and architectural dreams. He refers to his constructions as ‘non-inhabited spaces’, ‘inarchitectures’ and ‘nonfunctional spaces’. His work has been shown in various spaces including the Verney-Carron Space, Lyon, and at the Halle Girard at the Palace of Tokyo after being spotted at the 13th Biennale of Lyon (2015). He has also shown at the Baumwollspinnerei, Leipzig (2016).