A spectacular evening at the Palais Bulles: Jacques Rougerie, oceanographer-architect, receives the Bulles Pierre Cardin 2024 Honorary Award

On the heights of Théoule-sur-Mer, the iconic Palais Bulles hosted the second edition of the Prix Bulles Pierre Cardin “Ocean & Space for our planet” on May 17, 2024, to coincide with the 77th Cannes Film Festival. The event reaffirmed Cardin’s commitment to sustainable development.


Initiated by Rodrigo Basilicati Cardin, the great nephew of Pierre Cardin, Chairman of the Pierre Cardin Group, this event celebrates the convergence of sustainable development in both the maritime and spatial fields. It highlights companies that are particularly innovative when it comes to protecting the planet.


There could be no finer setting for the Prix Bulles than the Palais Bulles, an “architectural folly” unique in the world. It was the favorite villa-refuge of fashion designer Pierre Cardin, acquired at auction in 1992. This hypnotic house with its undulating, spherical forms was designed by Hungarian architect Antti Lovag. The couturier likened the villa to a woman’s body, with all its curves and sensuality… like his dresses.


Pierre Cardin – who died in 2020 at the age of 98 – made his mark in the 1960s with the “Space Age”, a fashion inspired by the conquest of space and science fiction. Sixty years later, the world has changed… Rodrigo Basilicati-Cardin, engineer and designer, no longer speaks of futurism, but of a “realistic future” on our doorstep.


Driven by the same conviction, Maison Cardin and Thales Alenia Space took the opportunity of this event to emphasize the need for collective awareness of the climate emergency. “It’s our duty to encourage a dynamic, efficient and virtuous economy for the planet,” stresses Rodrigo Basilicati Cardin.


The Palais Bulles, a 1,200 m2 labyrinth of infinite window-holes, lights up at night in all kinds of colors. DR


Hostesses dressed in Pierre Cardin – as they should be! – greeted guests as they entered the property. Each guest was able to experience getting lost in a tour of the Palais Bulles, a 1,200 m2 labyrinth of infinite window-holes, made up of ten suites, surrounded by a swimming pool, water basins and verdant terraces.

In a 500-seat open-air auditorium, with a panoramic view over the Bay of Cannes, guests – including a few People – took their seats for the awards ceremony. The ceremony was hosted by Chloé Nabédian, climate journalist at France Télévisions. A special touch: blankets were provided for those with cold feet, as May evenings remain chilly on the Côte d’Azur!


Giant video mappings projected breathtaking images of the solar system, views of the Earth taken by the Copernicus program satellites, the first tests of the SeaOrbiter… André Kuipers, the Dutch astronaut and Claudie Haigneré, the first French astronaut and former French Minister, testified to the “overview effect”, a kind of cognitive shock experienced by space travelers.


But the two big stars of the event were clearly the Sea and Space.


Bertrand Piccard and Jacques Rougerie, two great figures of 21st-century science.


Jacques Rougerie and Bertrand Piccard at the Bulles Awards 2024 “Ocean & Space for our planet”, at the Palais Bulles. DR


The 2024 edition was sponsored by Swiss explorer and environmentalist Bertrand Piccard, who was awarded the Prix d’Honneur Bulles in 2022. This psychiatrist and pioneer of clean technologies created the Solar Impulse Foundation. After completing the first round-the-world balloon flight, he flew around the world in a solar-powered airplane. In doing so, he proved that it was possible to do without fuel and generate no polluting emissions during the flight.

His new project, Climate Impulse, is a non-stop circumnavigation of the globe aboard a green hydrogen-powered aircraft. With his team, he has identified over a thousand solutions for protecting the environment. Enough to make our political leaders think and act!


A vibrant tribute was paid to Jacques Rougerie, oceanographer-architect and member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. He was awarded the Prix d’Honneur for his passion and commitment to the oceans. Rougerie designs underwater and coastal habitats with bionic, resilient and sustainable architecture. He is the creator of spectacular sea centers, underwater laboratories, transparent-hulled vessels and underwater museums. These include Océanopolis I and II in Brest, Nausicaa I and II in Boulogne-sur-Mer, the Centre caribéen de la mer in Martinique, the Oceanarium in Kochi, India, the Museum of Underwater Archaeology in Alexandria, Egypt… Jacques Rougerie’s latest project, SeaOrbiter, aims to explore deep-sea marine life, underwater faults and sunken remains. Jacques Rougerie will be the president of the third edition of the Bulles Awards.


These two exceptional men, Bertrand Piccard and Jacques Rougerie, underlined during the evening how much they appreciate each other, each drawing inspiration from the other’s field of excellence for a better future for the planet.


But who knows Bertrand Piccard and Jacques Rougerie? A minority. At this time of the Cannes Film Festival, we can only regret that the public’s idols are not also these renowned scientists. They deserve to have the red carpet rolled out for them…


Plastic capture, miniature underwater satellite, mangrove preservation in Costa Rica


Winners Elias Pertoft (Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island), Fabio Dalmonte (SEADS), Daniela Jovic (SPACEMANIC), Ana Elena Pinto Lizano (CoopeMolusChomes) with Jacques Rougerie and Rodrigo Basilicati-Cardin. DR


Three players in the field of protecting the planet received awards from a selection of start-ups. The awards ceremony was attended by Hervé Derrey, Chairman of Thales Alenia Space, Jacques Rougerie and Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, French Ambassador for the Poles and the French President’s delegate for the United Nations Conference on the Oceans in 2025. It was an opportunity to shine the spotlight on valuable innovations for the planet.


Fabio Dalmonte for SEADS (Sea Defence Solutions) won the “Ocean for our planet” prize, receiving 20,000 euros. This company develops Blue Barriers to capture plastic in our rivers before it is discharged into the oceans. Working with local communities, it transforms waste into useful resources.


Daniela Jovic for SPACEMANIC won the 20,000 euro “Space for our planet” prize for her WaterCube technology. This underwater satellite based on the Cubesat (miniature cubic satellite) combines space and ocean technologies. It enables observation of the depths of the sea and space.


CoopeMolusChomes, an NGO, received an Encouragement Award of 12,000 euros for its mission to preserve Costa Rica’s mangrove ecosystem and support the country’s sustainable and traditional fishing communities.


Elias Pertoft, for Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island, received the Prix d’excellence, a newly-created award recognizing the establishment’s exemplary approach to sustainable development in the luxury hotel sector.


Rodrigo Basilicati Cardin took advantage of the event to reaffirm Maison Cardin’s commitment to the environment. “Fashion and design are universal languages that must first and foremost convey meaning and a new philosophy, that of sustainable development,” he emphasized.

A courageous change of direction: the Autumn-Winter 2024 collection was designed entirely from recycled fabrics or fabrics from the Maison’s dormant stocks. And of course, the latest Pierre Cardin designs are inspired by space and the sea. Oceanic elegance enhanced by spatial brilliance.


The third edition of the Prix Bulles will take place in June 2025. “We prefer to organize this event outside the Cannes Festival, which monopolizes attention,” stresses Jean-Pascal Hesse, Director of Communications for Maison Pierre Cardin, author of the book “Le Palais Bulles de Pierre Cardin”, published by Editions Assouline. Recommended reading for all those who were mesmerized by the astonishing villa-labyrinth during this memorable evening, as well as for those who wish to discover it.




Featured Photo: Jacques Rougerie, Prix d’honneur Bulles Pierre Cardin 2024, wearing Pierre Cardin “Evolution Wave” eyewear, with Rodrigo Basilicati Cardin, surrounded by guests at the second edition. DR

Corine Moriou a été Grand Reporter pour le groupe L’Express pendant 15 ans. Aujourd’hui, elle exerce son métier en tant que journaliste indépendante. Ses domaines de prédilection sont les sujets de société, la culture, les voyages, le bien-être. Jamais blasée, toujours prête !


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