Location: Châtenay-Malabry, France.

Architect: ANMA.

Originally a public swimming pool and household waste incineration plant, the cultural center of Châtenay-Malabry comprises three distinct entities: a theatre, a music and dance conservatory, and a musical café. The adopted plan preserves the main volumes and the facades on the street of the existing – listed in the Inventory of historic monuments – which completes a new construction for the theater. The project develops a centered device in dialogue with the existing architecture renovated, including the wing of the former factory and the swimming pool entrance pavilion, in a quarter circle at the corner of two streets. The new building, inserted in the hollow of the L-shaped plan, constitutes the heart of the cultural pole. The arrangement of the cascading volumes expresses the diversity of the activities while ensuring the unity of the equipment. In the center of the cultural center, the theater with a capacity of 550 seats articulates the new volumes which house the reception areas, the rooms of the conservatory and that of contemporary music. The auditorium on a horseshoe plan offers a cylindrical volume surmounted by a dome with a central oculus equipped with sliding panels allowing total concealment of natural light. The metal structure of the room is made up of steel ribs, while the interior walls are covered with stained beech slats laid in front of a mineral wool complex, has openwork areas at 10%, 30% and even 40% in ceiling to meet acoustic requirements.

Photo credit: Stephane Chalmeau.