Rehabilitation of an industrial block into a Center for Performing Arts in Sète, France

by Nicolas Badout from École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture Montpellier, France
Tutored by: Patrick Buffard

Author comments:

This Center for Performing Arts aims to gather theatre, dance and music within the same place. It is located in Sète, in the South of France, a city which has a rich industrial and wine-producing heritage. This project is located on a block of industrial buildings and a winery, which dates back the XIXth century.

It thus suggests re-qualifying of this heritage according to 3 functional strips in order to organize it a better way and make it a key point in the city. So, the Center includes a Patrimonial space in the North, composed of the family Skalli’s winery, completely dedicated to the reception of important events, and by the administration offices in the building of Haussmann type. The core of the Center is the Theatre including a foyer, a completely flexible performing space with a capacity of 200 places, and a big stage sets workshop. Finally in the South is situated the Arts Factory which hosts housing for the artists in residency, but also rooms of practice, theoretical learning and a media library dedicated to performing arts.

The materiality of the project resonates with the history of Sète, a harbour city, and more particularly with this cargo boat abandoned not far from the site. To make a project here, it is to evolve in a heavy and hot atmosphere, it is to build a fresh and airy shelter, merely with rusty sheet steels and some bricks, and to get at the same time air and light.

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