Modern Music Centre

Contemporary Music Centre by Hérault Arnod Architectes




Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin

This Contemporary Music Centre (SMAC) is a musical complex consisting of two auditoriums of very different kinds and recording studios, linked by a public space called the deck, running from one side of the building to the other.

Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin

It is designed on the principle that, instead of being mere consumers of entertainment, people can construct their own evening by moving from one place to the other. The site is a corner of the Bel Ebat fairground, on the edge of the historic town centre of Evreux.

Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin

The difficulty lies in the size relation between the new building, rather small and non-central, and the fairground, a huge empty esplanade. One of the challenges of the architecture is to create a synergy with the fairground activities – fetes, flea markets, circuses, etc.

Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin

To resist and exist in relation to the vast expanse of the fairground, the structure is dense, sculptural and autonomous. The main concert hall is on the first floor and sticks out, overhanging the entrance on the northern side.

Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin

For acoustic reasons, the concert rooms and recording studios are separate concrete boxes. The whole structure is enveloped in a light metal skin, a double wall or over-roof that acts as an additional acoustic feature.

Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin

From the outside, the volume is opaque, composed of triangular facets, some of them made of polished stainless steel that reflects the surrounding trees.

Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin

It is imbued with a dual internal motion, the movement of the deck that crosses it and the movement of the roof which rises gradually to envelop the main auditorium.

Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin

The deck operates like an immense interior/exterior hall stretching from the street to the esplanade.

Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin

This course distributes and shows the different entities: main auditorium hall, local radio station studio, recording studios and the club, live-music café with its glass double façade fan folded for acoustic reasons.

Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin

The deck opens southwards to become a wide porch, an urban theatre that acts both as a terrace for the club, and as a stage for outdoor concerts or shows. Source by Hérault Arnod Architectes.

Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin
  • Location: Evreux, France
  • Architect: Hérault Arnod Architectes
  • Project Manager: Camille Bérar
  • Fluids: Inex
  • Structure: Batiserf
  • Economist: Michel Forgue
  • Stage Design: DUCKS Scéno
  • Acoustics: Lasa
  • Client: Evreux municipality
  • Area: 2450 m² + 570 m² covered linking areas
  • Cost: €8.5 million before tax
  • Year: 2016
  • Photographs: André Morin, Courtesy of Hérault Arnod Architectes
Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin
Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin
Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin
Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin
Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin
Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin
Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin
Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin
Modern Music Centre
Photo © André Morin
Modern Music Centre
Site Plan
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