Location: Eckbolsheim, France.
Architect: Studio Fuksas.
With its 10,000 seats, the Zenith in Strasbourg is the largest concert hall in Europe. The room is conceived as a dark nucleus, protected by a hard shell, shaped on lines with different radii of curvature, designed to optimize the relationship between maximum capacity and the best view and built in reinforced concrete to better control acoustic performance.
The outer casing, on the other hand, is light, coloured, translucent, textile. It is through this second thin skin, orange in colour, sensitive to both day and night light, that it is possible to overcome the static skyline typical of all membrane tensile structures. The plastic and static form of the concrete shell is wrapped in five elliptical steel rings, articulated in height with always different eccentricities. The orange fabric, connected like a ribbon to the steel rings and thinner tension cables, envelops the large hall, assuming the resistant double-curved shape, thanks to the opposition of ellipses in steel cables which, approaching and moving away from the concrete shell , create an intermediate space full of dynamism: the hall. This space, capable of containing the large influx of people that characterizes rock and pop shows, becomes the first meeting place, inside/outside, a compressed and dilated space.
The sinusoidal trends that serve to satisfy the static constraints of the membrane tensile structure transform the Zenith into a single sculpted surface that is always different depending on the point of observation and in continuous movement.