Théâtre of Saint-Nazaire by K-architectures

Category: Architecture Published on 28 Nov, 2012 Tags: , , , , ,

Paris-based K-architectures have recently completed the “Théâtre of Saint-Nazaire” in Saint-Nazaire, France, adjacent to remnants of a neoclassical train station destroyed in World War II. The theatre draws inspiration for its materials and style from its immediate surroundings. Its monolithic mineral bulk is borrowed from the giant bunker and its rough-hewed shape is borrowed from neighbouring utilitarian designs. Concrete is conferred sovereign status as a material. It is smooth in parts, chiselled in others. Here and there, it is adorned with a floral imprint pattern providing a classical link to the station and to romantic theatres.

This imprint, inspired by a 17th century French silk textile motif, has been scaled to the size of the building – a simple ornamental feature trans- posed to the relief of the material itself. In places, this relief is so deep that it digs into the concrete walls, taking the shape of rosettes.


The cement facades are made using two types of procedure: “cast in place” for the smooth parts, and prefabricated for panels with imprints or perforated by decorative patterns. The largest of these panels, assembled using a crane, weigh up to five tons. The perforated facade patterns shine a soft light into a spacious environment with a ceiling height of 11.50 m.

The theatre answers the requirements of a «national stage» which makes it a very high standard tool. The auditorium and stage make up the main concrete structure. The other annex spaces (the hall, the rehearsal room, the dressing room and the technical premises) are laid out, as if in storage, along its flanks. Their volumes stand out with their chestnut cladding, fitted to directly echo stacks of racking used by industrial sites.

images © Luc Boegly


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