With the Théodore Gouvy theatre in the French town of Freyming-Merlebach, Dominique Coulon has designed an avant-garde home for music and theatre. As with many of his other new works, with this project the connection of architecture and social mission was also important for Coulon. As a result, the new theatre was intended to function as a location for mediation between the public body, the city as a collective and its inhabitants.
The theatre standing on a base is impressive with its unusual shape and dimensions: the foyer has been moved to the upper part to identify the entrance, while transparent elements in the lower part provide views of the interior walkways. The foyer includes a vertical space with a route to an apparent interlocking arrangement of stairways that lead to the auditorium. Angled lines and complex geometry extend through the whole building and create a feeling of space.
The theatre presents itself with a pure white façade, while the foyer is kept in beige tones. The auditorium represents a complete interruption of the foyer and stands in complete contrast: Red, pink and orange give the space density. The foyer and the public areas are flooded with natural light that varies the whole day with the progression of the sun, providing a dynamic spatial installation.
Matching the interior architecture, the theatre has been equipped with the JUNG KNX system. Using F 40 push-button sensors in the LS 990 design series in white, black and red, light temperature and shade can be easily controlled.