Location: Saint-Etienne, France.
Architect: Foster + Partners.
The new Zénith in Saint Etienne, France, is a modular structure designed by Foster + Partners that can accommodate up to 7,200 visitors for musical, cultural, and even sporting events. The distinctive feature of the architecture is the aerodynamic roof, which channels the flow of winds from the north and south to provide natural ventilation inside the building. The entrance to the concert hall is through an external podium with ramps that incorporate structures for artists and backstage. The exterior space includes a large square partially shaded by the cantilevered roof, which also provides shade to the spacious glass foyer. The new Zénith is a flexible and environmentally conscious meeting place that represents a strong symbol of urban regeneration.