Chambord Chateau as you will (almost certainly) never see it

What would Chambord chateau look like if it was built today? That was the question set to 18 universities around the world, in a challenge to offer up their contemporary vision of the chateau’s architectural utopia. So let’s set off on a journey through time, where past, present and – sometimes – future meet.

A great many mysteries remain around how Chambord was built. Who was the real architect? What was François I’s vision? Still under construction upon the monarch’s death, the chateau was completed by his heirs, leaving a sense that François I’s original plans for utopian architecture remain incomplete.

Chambord “reinvented”

It was during a tour of Chambord chateau that the architect Dominique Perrault came up with the idea for a plan to “finish” the chateau’s construction with a modern take on utopia. Universities all over the world set to work on their vision of a “reinvented” Chambord, using the chateau’s architecture as the foundation.

18 projects on show

In the end, 18 projects were selected for the speculative section of the exhibition celebrating Chambord’s 500-year anniversary. The rest of the exhibition will focus on the chateau’s history.

A modern Utopia

With their “Chambord for modern times”, the future architects are offering a fresh take on this iconic building of the French Renaissance, seen from the vantage point of modern society and its inspirations: a political, social, and environmental utopia.

In 2019, Chambord is celebrating its 500-year anniversary. To mark the occasion, the chateau is hosting the biggest exhibition in its history: "Chambord, 1519-2019: building utopia". From 26 May to 1 September, visitors to the chateau will be invited along on a journey through the ages. The first stop is in the past, with the first part of the exhibition dedicated to the chateau’s history. The second half of the exhibition focuses on the chateau’s contemporary side, showcasing 18 projects from the “Chambord reinvented” competition.