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Jean-Claude Carrière Theatre

Jean-Claude Carrière Theatre

Montpellier, France | View Map
Project Year
©Marie-Caroline Lucat


A+Architecture as Architects

Implementation and site

The Domaine of O, site for which we conceived the project is breathtaking ; its forest of pine trees, its history, the space it unrolls inspired a light and delicate concept. The Theatre lands between the esplanade set for big tops and the nearby pinetrees with the utmost respect towards the environment and existing trees. The theatre orientation both breaks the historic axis and fits in the main composition of the site ; its structure relies on the strength of this axis in order to maintain unity and to enhance the new theatre in the Domaine of O.

This culture box offers its surroundings and passersby new pathways to wander through and new spots for gathering. The altimetry of the site allowed us to draw comfortable and light stairs and to complete the implementation of the theatre. The stage is set, the lights are on, the curtain rose and the. The proposed square offers a deep breath to the public feed. It extends the domain of O very airy spaces and plays the same register than the entrance with its large crevice. It is also place of waiting and the show, to observe those who wander on the major axis of the field. This large courtyard leads visitors at the entrance of the theatre and restaurant.

This wide mineral courtyard gives access to the theatre and restaurant. This new cultural facility extends the lines and urban fabric that characterise the domaine of O. This lightness in the pedestrian circulations contrasts with the imposing mass of our project. We designed impressive dimensions for an ambitious performing hall. The Jean-CLaude Carrière theatre now puts his light dress on...

flawless acoutisc comfort

Multiple stakes. The architecture both had to prevent the neighbourhood from undesired noises through a a perfect isolation, and also to conceive the ideal acoustic comfort not to tire the voices and make every sound and emotion perfectly audible. Eventually this duality is improved and ensured by the width and composition of the walls and through the panels tilt, they bannish any floating echoes.


All choices in terms of stage set, scenography and space designs are linked together with the main architecture concept. Our thinking was devoted to technical recquirements such as the pedestrian circulations, the mobility of the stage, the space management and its adjoining entities. We wondered the best way to welcome theatre ensembles, how their props would be delivered, etc. We developped a scenography that has a huge potentiel to adapt and open to any cultural and artistic activities.

rythms and depth

The metaphor of Harlquin’s fabric is obvious, a character that is cherish by the Domaine of O. We redefined this theme to create a light and tangy color and texture. The wood panels cross each other and envelop the volume ; Wood structures the hall as well. Its declinsions avoid monotony, they vibrate and create several rythms and let the red box be seenwhen necessary. This vast weave is punctuated with sparks of bright diamond-shape lights, another reference to Harlequin. At night they strike the eye and create an electric and playful ambiance. It is distended on the entrance to magnify this space and offer a new point of view on the surroundings. The wooden dress lifts itself up! And reveal its secrets. Spectators are invited to enter and discover a space dedicated to theatre. A mezzanine allow them to see and be seen. The diamon-shapes also echoe inside. The project

On the entrance(entry), this dress lifts up itself to let show through the secrets of this place of theater. The spectator skips under these bottoms to discover a space treated(handled) with the same care as the outside facing. This diamond is put in echo and repeats in the internal space. If the lace of diamond-shapes is the signature of the project, it also hides other many references to domains related to culture, theatre and to the site of course. The red tint of the building’s shell resumes ochres present on the domain ; it adds to the architectural coherence of the site. The theater is delicately integrated into the Domaine of O.


Architecture more than anything is a human adventure, in that perspective we had to design efficient, creative and easy to use plans and volumes. This simplicity has the potential to let people naturally interact and become actors of the theatre.

environmental excellency

Since the first designs and sketches and until its completion, the Jean-Claude Carrière Theatre, chose energy and environmental excellency. The approach aimed at bringing to the minimum, the global impact of the project on the environment. The project team under the impulsion of A+Architecture and Spie Sud-Ouest put their energy in conceiving a project that take into account the recquirements set by the Herault General Council. We focused both on the consumptions of exploitation to deliver a BBC project low energy buildind) but also on the energy necessary for the construction of the building, its capacity to be dismantled and its energy appreciation at the end life, which we hope will happen in a long, long very long time!

A low energy consumption building: By consumming twice less than a regular bulding, the Jean-Claude Carrière Theatre complies with the Low Consumption Label. The theatre does not recquire much energy as for the conventionnal (heating, cooling, supply air, lighting), adding to this, all lights on stage are 100% LED, making our project the very first one in France to. The iterations of dynamic thermal simulations allowed to verify that these energy savings goes hand in hand with the comfort of usage of our Mediterranean climate with no systematic need of air conditioning.

Sustainable materials: Usually the energy necessary to build a project equals to 30 to 50 years of exploitation. Aware of this energetic parameter, we decide to use sustainable and energy efficient materials. The new cultural equipment is entirely made of wood, the peripheric walls, the roof framing, the floors, the walls, the facade facings represent a volume of around 1000m3. We put the same care in the other materials from the rubber floors to the paintings and certified galzings. In fine the theatre circle of life analysis shows its exploitation years is of only 7 years.

A sustainable building site: The first environmental feat was to conceive and build this project in exactement 12 months! The second one is how the environment and nature was at the heart of our thinking. The work in dry process implies an important part of prefabrication and the clean site construction charter was followed in a exemplary way by all the companies guaranteing a minimum impact on our environment.

If we add to it that 90% of the project can be dismantled (and reassembled!) from the energy and environmental point of view, the Jean-Claude Carrière Theatre sure is exemplary!

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