Modern Music Centre, Evreux Building, Northern French Architecture, Haute Normandie Design

Modern Music Centre Evreux : SMAC Building

Evreux Architecture, Eure department, France design by Hérault Arnod Architectes

19 Apr 2017 + 4 May 2012

Contemporary Music Centre Evreux

Haute Normandie, Northern France

Design: Hérault Arnod Architectes

Concert Hall for actual and contemporary music in Evreux

Modern Music Center Evreux

This Contemporary Music Centre (SMAC) is a new kind of musical complex, consisting of two auditoriums of very different kinds, linked by a public space called the deck, running from one side of the building to the other. It is designed on the principle that, instead of being mere consumers of entertainment, people can construct their own evening, which requires a distinctive spatial layout.

Modern Music Center Evreux

The site of the building is a corner of the Bel Ebat fairground, on the edge of the historic town centre. The difficulty lies in the size relation between the new building, essentially small and non-central, and the fairground, a huge empty esplanade. One of the challenges of the architecture is to give the building a clarity, an identity and a naturalness that local and national visitors can appreciate, but also to create a synergy with the fairground activities – fetes, flea markets, circuses, etc.

Modern Music Center Evreux

To resist and exist in relation to the vast expanse of the fairground, the structure is tall and dense, sculptural and autonomous, its identity in contrast with the surrounding buildings. To give the volume its height, the main concert hall is on the first floor, overhanging the entrance on the northern side. Because the plot stands at the intersection of two streets, the structure curves around the hall in an enveloping movement, its upper part extended by the facade of the main auditorium.

Modern Music Center Evreux

Modern Music Center Evreux Evreux Modern Music Center

For acoustic reasons, the concert rooms and recording studios are separate concrete boxes. As far as possible, the annexes and service premises are arranged around the outside to form a sound buffer. The whole structure is enveloped in a light metal skin, a double wall or over-roof that acts as an additional acoustic feature. From the outside, the volume is dense, composed of triangular facets, some of them made of polished stainless steel that reflects the surrounding trees. 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 Center Evreux Building

Part inside, part outside, the deck performs multiple functions. It is the unifying factor out of which the architecture develops. It operates like an immense interior/exterior hall stretching from the street to the esplanade. On this side, it opens southwards to become a wide porch, an urban theatre that acts both as a terrace for the club bar and restaurant, and as a stage for outdoor concerts or shows. The deck is a piece of architecture in its own right, embedded within the building. To reinforce its interiority and create a warm atmosphere, the floors, walls and ceilings are faced with plain timber planking, which contrasts with the shiny, metallic envelope of the exterior.

SMAC Evreux

The different areas of the deck are made of glass. People walking along “music street” have a view into the hall of the auditorium, into the main recording studio, the glass bay of the first-floor administration and radio areas, and in particular the club. The building has few windows on the outside, in order to lend maximum power to the volume of the deck and porch, a wide opening that invites people to sit on the terrace in the sun. In the porch, we are elsewhere, on the threshold of the mysterious world of the interior, but still in contact with the reality outside.

Modern Music Center Evreux

The programme is primarily designed for younger people. The architecture is efficient and “visceral”, devoid of decoration or superfluity. This strange, raw structure, which opens up to welcome the public and the sunshine, reflects the energy of music, the music of today and of tomorrow.

Modern Music Center Evreux

Modern Music Center Evreux Modern Music Center Evreux

Modern Music Centre Evreux – Building Information

Title: Modern Music Centre – Evreux Location
• Evreux (Eure)

• Evreux municipality

Project management
• Hérault Arnod Architectes, lead architects
• Inex, fluids
• Batiserf, structure
• Michel Forgue, economist
• DUCKS Scéno, stage design
• Lasa, acoustics

• 2450 m² + 570 m² covered linking areas

• €5.7 million excluding VAT + €0.5 million outdoor excluding VAT

• Competition Sep 2008
• Soon in progress
• Delivery planned 2013

• Concert room club (150 standing places + cafe restaurant)
• Concert hall 600 standing places
• Rehearsal studios
• Office and radio spaces
• Artists’ residence
• Covered connecting areas

Modern Music Center Evreux

Photography: André Morin

Modern Music Centre Evreux Modern Music Centre Evreux building Music Centre Evreux Evreux building
images : Hérault Arnod Architectes

Images: Labtop-rendering, Axonometry by Hérault Arnod

Modern Music Centre Evreux images / information from Hérault Arnod Architectes

Hérault Arnod Architectes

Location: Bel Ébat, Evreux, France, western Europe

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