• Espace des Arts de Chalon-sur-Saône
  • Palais Guimet & Maison de la Danse in Lyon
  • Théâtre Théo Argence in Lyon

Three projects in France for the architect Pierre Hebbelinck13/11/2018

L'Atelier d'Architecture Pierre Hebbelinck (Liège) has been chosen to carry out three French renovation, restructuring and transformation projects, in Lyon and Chalon, in collaboration with the Lille architects HBAAT.

Inauguration of the Espace des Arts in Chalon

The National Stage at the Espace des Arts in Chalon-sur-Saône was reopened at the end of September.

The Espace des Arts is one of the first major French buildings to offer culture accessible to all.  -Its renovation and modernisation pose the issues of the imperatives surrounding it: spectator comfort with the identity of a city in its region, armchair padding offering relations with the territory...everything is related. Quite apart from its historic worth as a construction, the building is above all a piece of priceless patrimony. The memory of the place is a real root which we would like to preserve through this project. This will enable us to plan to best effect the construction-related aspects of this architecture, the legacy of lost modernity.

The venue includes 3 cinema rooms (to seat 850, 500 and 100), exhibition halls, a café, accommodation and space for artists. Visibility and access to the site are provided thanks to major work in reception areas and opening up the space beneath the cantilever of the large room, as well as the elevation of the stage tower for the artists’ accommodation.

Restructuring the Palais Guimet and building at Maison de la Danse in Lyon.

After many trips to the East, the industrialist Emile Guimet decided to create the Palais Guimet, a sort of museum of Asiatic religions, in 1879. Since it was created, the Palais has seen successive, atypical and prestigious programmes which have made it the epitome of the architecture which is now to be restored. In this case, we are talking about reinventing the heritage of a bygone age by revealing the treasures of a heritage which has become lost in the mists of time, seeking to create a contemporary cultural facility resolutely visible from the city.

Cohabitation between the existing archaeology museum and the new programme defined by the Maison de la Danse results in gatherings spatially rewritten through the architectural work of those who pass through. The existing Rotunda is being scooped out, transforming it into a splendid meeting place by virtue of zenithal light and the presence of two-way circular traffic. The cinema room, triple-height and situated in the heart of the building, plays with the levels using the route taken by the balcony and staircases. Thus, the architecture incites “being seen without being seen”. The extension accentuates this feeling and subtly plays with the materiality of striated and transparent glass. It houses the staircase and the contemporary triangular stone of the Guimet edifice and thus creates a “theatre of shade and lights” as users circulate.

Transforming and extending the Theo Argence theatre in Lyon.

The project aims to provide comfort both for artists – through dressing rooms and the quality of the two rooms as space for games, acoustics and a stage design tool – and players in theatre life, from the usherette to the director, not to mention technicians, and finally the public, newcomers and long-established enthusiasts alike.

Like any city theatre, the renovation project will focus on three areas. Firstly, the view of the floor is being transformed to bring it into line with the large space overlooking place Ferdinand Buisson. The second aspect is something that some might define as the body of the theatre, transforming the stage and reworking access in the two large rooms, but especially extending the back in order to set the scene at city level. By playing with the transparent and opalescent glazing of the rear façade, overhanging the front façade, the theatre’s interior light thus shines like a city street lamp. Finally, reorganising administrative departments, technical facilities and dressing rooms, placed either side of the large room, will make theatre life visible from the city.

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