A New Cinema for the 21st Century by Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

Alésia cinema

Alésia cinema
Photo © Luc Boegly

Gaumont-Pathé commissioned Manuelle Gautrand to renovate the Alésia cinema. The recently completed project opens a whole new chapter of contemporary and innovative cinema architecture. The Project Has Two Main Aims:

Alésia cinema
Photo © Luc Boegly

– To showcase the film theatres and visually identify them as physical spaces, as much from within the building as from without;
– To showcase the films: the facades are covered in a kind of huge curtain of LEDs, which is used to screen a range of animation (film extracts, stills, colours and abstract images can be used to bring the facade to life).

Alésia cinema
Photo © Luc Boegly

A Facade Like a Pleated Cinema Screen
The facade is broken down into into a dozen vertical strips, like ribbons. Each strip supports several facets, alternately orientated upwards or downwards, as if folded. In the central area, these great pleats are made of glass and covered in regularly spaced LED modules, forming a large, animated grid.

Alésia cinema
Photo © Luc Boegly

Towards the edges of the facade, the large pleats are opaque and formed of metal cladding, sometimes covered in the same structure of LEDs, sometimes simply folded to maintain the rhythm. These ribbons can function either independently of one another, each showing a different picture from its neighbours, or as a whole, showing one single picture across all the LEDs. The bottom section in each ribbon folds upwards to form surfaces that are almost horizontal, creating a vast canopy that overhangs the pavement by some 3 metres.

Alésia cinema
Photo © Guillaume Guerin

These panels are also covered in LEDs, providing the public with different images, which are this time almost within reaching distance. This gives the public the sensation of walking into the picture as they go into the building. At dusk, the luminosity of the LEDs is perceptible from the inside, illuminating the foyers and circulation spaces with the diffuse colours of the animated images.

Alésia cinema
Photo © Luc Boegly

An Assembly of Theatres, stacked and slotted together
The film theatres are arranged within the building so that virtually every volume is visible and identifiable. The contents of the project form a sort of vertical sculpture, where the theatres slot into one another like a puzzle.

Alésia cinema
Photo © Guillaume Guerin

The tiered seating in the theatres is made visible on its underside, forming magnificent stepped ceilings. These ceilings are then extended into the adjacent space to create partially tiered lobby areas: little amphitheatres that slope down towards the theatre entrances, forming spaces for informal projections.

Alésia cinema
Photo © Guillaume Guerin

The public is welcomed in a vast space beneath tiers of theatre seating
Within this vast, light and airy space are all the reception services: ticket sales, an information point, automated ticket and information points, and refreshments, with a seating area and a cafe, access to the different theatres, and then a quieter space, with areas for screening films.

Alésia cinema
Photo © Guillaume Guerin

All the circulation interlinks within the triple-height atrium. A series of escalators and walkways behind the facade lead to the different mezzanine levels and upper-level theatres. The public can be seen, and can move around to look at the spaces from below or from above, as well as enjoying views onto the outside world.

Alésia cinema
Photo © Guillaume Guerin

The very latest in Film Theatre Technology
The project presents specific features that create supplementary acoustic challenges and generate an increased level of complexity, in particular:
– several directly adjoining residential buildings,
– a mixed structure of concrete and steel, requiring different solutions according to material,
– the client’s wish to equip screens with surround sound (3D sound). Source by Manuelle Gautrand Architecture.

Alésia cinema
Photo © Guillaume Guerin
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Architects: Manuelle Gautrand Architecture
  • Design Team: Manuelle Gautrand Architecture, ON, lighting design, TESS, facades, KHEPHREN INGENIERIE, structure, INEX, services and lifts, PEUTZ, acoustics
  • Client:Gaumont-Pathé
  • GFA: 3.600 m2
  • Cost: 12M € ex. VAT
  • Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Guillaume Guerin, Luc Boegly, Courtesy of Manuelle Gautrand Architecture
Alésia cinema
Photo © Guillaume Guerin
Alésia cinema
Photo © Luc Boegly
Alésia cinema
Photo © Guillaume Guerin
Alésia cinema
Photo © Luc Boegly
Alésia cinema
Photo © Guillaume Guerin
Alésia cinema
Photo © Guillaume Guerin
Alésia cinema
Elevation
Alésia cinema
Site Plan
Alésia cinema
Level -01 Floor Plan
Alésia cinema
Level 00 Floor Plan
Alésia cinema
Level 01 Floor Plan
Alésia cinema
Level 02 Floor Plan
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Level 05 Floor Plan
Alésia cinema
Section
Alésia cinema
Exploded cross section

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