Meeting the French language at Château de Villers-Cotterêts

Exhibition, Signage, Architecture & Heritage, Arts & Culture
Centre des Monuments Nationaux
Villers-Cotterêts, 2023
Architect (headmaster), scenograph: Projectiles
Lighting designer: 8'18''
Multimedia: Lundi 8
Photograph: Tony Trichanh / Pierre-Olivier Deschamps, Agence Vu’ – CMN

This project was Initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron during his first term, the "Cité internationale de la langue française" is as a dedicated cultural and residential space celebrating the richness of the French language.
It links the past, present and future of the French language and the French-speaking world, around three pillars: culture & creation, education & training, research & innovation.
Rooted in the Château de Villers-Cotterêts, openning its doors on November 1st, 2023, the Cité holds special significance as it occupies the same space where François the Ist enacted the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts in August 1539, compelling the use of French in official documents and legal proceedings.

The project management team, led by the Projectiles agency, was to offer a tangible and immersive experience on a seemingly abstract theme—"The adventure of the French language". In the entrance, visitors are welcomed by a lexical sky, a collection of suspended words beneath the glass roof of the Jeu de Paume courtyard, leaving a breathtaking impression.

The exhibition's graphic design provides a sensitive exploration of typography, guiding visitors through diverse themes and historical periods with various scale of graphic compositions. Figures from the French-speaking world are highlighted, from François the Ist to MC Solaar, showing that language is a living entity, and the linguistic adventure persists long after the visit concludes.