Wilmotte & Associés S.A
Fréjus, France
Project Year
Pascal Tournaire / Wilmotte & Associés SA


Wilmotte & Associés S.A as Architects

The fortified city of Fréjus in the Roman period is organized around two axes: Decumanus Maximus, axis orientated towards the Northeast / Southwest and Carco Maximus, orientated towards the Northwest / Southeast.

The new Town Theater is naturally located in the intersection of these two axes and the North-South axis.

The elliptic shaped building, which recalls the Roman theater and the arenas, is 60 metres long by 30 metres wide and 18 metres high, protected from the outside by a mineral lace. It includes a 14 metres wide by 16 metres depth stage with a multi-purpose room of 840 places and a rehearsal room of 200 places.

This theater will be a real regional and cultural facility of creation and diffusion, adapted to all kinds of shows, from the theater to the dance, from the variety to the opera.

The entrance of the building is highlighted by a canopy and opens on the public square. The hall can become an exhibition or meeting place, a full cultural pole, thanks to its access on the same level.

The volume follows the logic of the establishment of the pre-existing Roman buildings in the city. The back part hosts the car park, the delivery area, the open air parking (108 places). The access to the half-buried parking includes 111 places (only disabled people can have direct access by elevator from this zone, with protection of airlocks by video surveillance). The access to the technical premises zones is located at the same level as the parking.

The theater appears like an elliptic shaped monolith, which allows a big functional, structural and programmatic compactness. It is made of layers, which protect the various places according to the required degree of intimacy.

A stitch of architectonic concrete protects the whole theater from the excessive solar radiation. It also protects the artists’ dressing rooms from unwanted glances. Bathed in the subdued light during the day, the theater is lit up at night, giving the entire building an impression of lightness.

Vertical openings light the spaces of administrative work, studios of set decoration and handling. The rehearsal room benefits from natural light, this light in turn lights the volume of the stage.

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