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Since the Middle Ages and particularly in the 19th century students had to find

2019-03-29

Housing where they could There was no such idea to create something special for students, so, there had to be an example. All I know is that it came to life because Emile Deutsch decided to donate money and created the very first project of its type. So they made a project and just after the World War One in 1922 or 23, the Fondation Deutsch was constructed. I knew the Fondation Deutsch when I was 6 or 7 and I even assisted at the foundation stone which was in a zone where all around the place there was a pile of temporary barracks and it was so-called "the Zone'". In that period, there where old fortifications where, as a child, I played war. The day when I went to see the foundation stone there were lots of bystanders that came because it was unusual to have a sort of official meeting there. Next to those barracks which were being destroyed there were lots of bystanders, to that point, that on the picture which I should have somewhere, we see authorities with their top-hats while putting the foundation stone and a shovel of cement but between the bystanders leaning above, there was a butcher's boy. He was there in his butcher's boy uniform. It wasn't an official thing. And the bystanders gathered around, it was quite odd. But the idea was to provide students with good living conditions, good value, in a some kind of segregation, meaning, there were separate buildings for men and for women at the beginning. And in a place where Fondation Deutsch had all the facilities, even a restaurant. Later on it disappeared because it was the Cite Universitaire which started to develop. And there was the International Foundation. But the initial goal of Emile Deutsch, I do not know if he wanted to create the Cit but I think that the idea which developed from what was the foundation to the point of making an estate, which was the Cit Universitaire, not only a fondation but a housing estate, this idea came from those that had interested the Minister of Public Education whose name was Honorat. I often see people who stop in front of the major plate on the wall of the Pavillon Central and in my opinion it is a fine speech. You have got a shortened version here, in the Grand Salon. It was a donation for a class of students, mostly French, male. Then, this category's character changed a bit but it was always the same category, poorer students of modest origins who could study, but who had no sufficient means for a decent life. Emile Deutsch de la Meurthe was keen on helping this population. That kind of thing often happened at the beginning of the century. Even in the same part of Paris where there were fortifications, the buildings from red brick were constructed, like in other districts of Paris, foundations which are often known for their public utility which are places that accommodate humble families. There was a great move towards improved hygiene standards in many things. which meant that Deutsch de la Meurthe, 20 years later, the great sponsors of all those buildings which we can see in Paris, He wanted to do something good for students. This is an important thing which explains the form of your rooms and everything. The hygienic ideas from the beginning of the century with lots of light, lots of air. The size of your rooms is pretty good. You have got even that ventilation whether you want it or not. In winter there is air that comes in, etc. That comes from an idea that if you live in a shutter place, it is bad for your brain is it bad for your body that it is a way of degrading people socially. Emile Deutsch de la Meurthe bought a special terrain for the foundation whereas all the others foundations were simply built on a terrain that was available. There was no such garden at their disposal that would surround the whole thing. My father, who visited England many times, he knew several English universities which have very particular style and he was reproached for being influenced by them. He was even criticized for the architecture of the Fondation Deutsch, that it is... And yet, it seems like the architecture of this campus which dates from the end of Medieval Ages, was the period when the style of architecture was Franco-English. The development of Gothic architecture happened at once in England and France. During the war of '39-'40, there was a German occupation. Germans took this place in charge and they transformed it into a hospital. A hospital for soldiers during the occupation years. It came out after the war, and after reconditioning of the Fondation Deutsch, that students were obliged to undergo medical tests. They had to go to 6 or 8 different places, hospitals in Paris. So it was created, to avoid them going to 4 corners of Paris and losing lots of time it was created at the Fondation Deutsch, in the Curie pavillon, a preventive medicine. It was taken, as an example the factories manufacturing products from pork, which make in the most rational way sausages, hams, etc. So it was about making very precise processes in the shortest time possible and within a certain system. It was quite amusing to do. So the students were appearing at the entrance, they were taking off their clothes, they were hanging their clothes immediately on a system which I installed and which transported their belongings from one corner of the building to the other that they were finding them again at the exit. And they were successively passing from one medical office to another to have all the exams, and finally, they had passed in one hour and a half for what they once had to do in 6 different places in Paris. All the rooms were transformed, more or less. They even started to distort, because they wanted to put more insulating windows I realized that one day, although I do not supervise it, I realized that while passing by, that they put windows from polystyrene, PVC. And I told to myself: but this is not at all the original style. And I interfered and they stopped doing this at they found some other solution to make insulating windows while maintaining the character of windows with little squares which is in harmony with the style of architecture which we mustn't change. It's really something I would have never thought to happen to me but it happened. A couple which lived at the Deutsch 49 years before I came to this place came to knock at my door to tell me: we met in this room They asked me to visit the room, etc., to see if there was anything that changed. When this man had come in, he told me: Everything is exactly as it was before. Nothing changed. But it was less messy than this. So I laughed and I told him: '"Well,'" before it was a lady's room. Because in this building there were only women. And the lady told me that when she was writing her thesis of '"DEA", those days, because now it is called '"Master'", he was on the bed and the lady was sitting at this table and writing her thesis. The thing is, that years ago this gentleman had to jump through the window to see his lady secretly. There are 6 different buildings for the residents, which means that you are not constantly watched over by someone at the entrance. You are not under surveillance. You can live with independence something to appreciate This is something that does not exist, as far as I am concerned, somewhere else at the campus, but this is important. This is one of the problems, we could say, one of the Wild West aspects of the Deutsch but I think you are all in age when it is needed to have that freedom. What you surely find here, is that this place is very strange, out of the ordinary world and which has that taste, that we call, utopian. It is not only an utopia, there are lots of aspects extremely... how to say it... problematic, when it comes to modern life. But at the end, you have got this huge community which lives in a world a little bit like an aquarium but a very agreeable one.