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Manuelle Gautrand Architecture
Square Papin, Paris 3ème, France | View Map
Project Year
Cultural Centres

© Philippe Ruault


Manuelle Gautrand Architecture as Architects

Re-structuring an old theatre of the 19th century in the heart of Paris to turn it into an interactive platform for 21st century music and arts poses a number of difficult problems. To sum them up we have conceived of a place that could cater to all the artistic activities of today, a place open to public visits but that was also a working studio where artists could actually create, produce and present.

The design priorities are clear: create three main production facilities, three spaces for live shows. Around these three anchor points unfold a continuum of fluid and mobile ‘breathing’ spaces to serve alternately as work studios and presentation spaces: sets for the digital arts and modern music, for performers and for the public. They include media library, exhibition areas, foyers, café, rehearsal studios, etc...

Our objective was to create a ‘permissive’ place that includes whatever is random and unexpected, a place that defines itself without predefining everything, that enables encounters in fusion and breaks down barriers between the digital arts, the music of today and new modes of exchange between the public and artists.

To animate these fluctuations of programme and accompany the many changes in spatial layout, mobile ‘guide’ modules, called «Eclaireuses» are provided. Mounted on rollers, these container-size units move from place to place, creating a changing scenography. There are today 70 “Eclaireuses” in the building.

Also assisting the public in its movements is a longdodecaedric furniture ‘ribbon’ that threads the entire layout: welcoming, accompanying, and providing rest.

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