International Architecture Competition

Charlie Hebdo Portable Pavilion

Press release

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The winners of the Charlie Hebdo Portable Pavilion architecture competition have been announced. The competition tasked participants with designing a mobile structure to support and promote the principle and ideals of free speech. The events that inspired the Charlie Hebdo Portable Pavilion architecture competition were both devastating and profound, and as such the winning teams chosen by our expert panel of judges reflected that in their designs. While the structure was intended to be temporary, the impressions it leaves upon each community should be lasting and universal.

The three winning teams chosen were from Switzerland, China and Germany, showing how the ideals of free speech are universally important despite culture and country of origin. The team from Switzerland were selected as the overall winners for the positivity of their designs, and the creation of a sense of no-place without political affiliation. This allowed the pavilion to proclaim itself as a platform for free speech in any environment, culture or situation.

The second place winners from China envisioned a buoyant, spherical balloon which holds aloft a steel roof underneath which visitors wander. And the third place winners from Germany created a pavilion comprised of a circular wall punctuated by a single door, with two off-center circular walls within to create a series of nested interiors. Three very different interpretations of the brief and were chosen, and yet each team from each country found the importance of free speech a powerful motivator in their designs.

1st Prize


2nd Prize



3rd Prize


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