Performing arts center – Mazan (France)


1740 m2

Mazan (France)

Completed 2014

Construction of a new multi-purpose activity hall, entirely built in wood


Client
City of MAZAN

Design team
DE-SO lead architect / GAUJARD TECHNOLOGIE / MTC / ALTIA / ARCHITECTURE ET TECHNIQUE

Construction cost
3,7 M€ HT

Mission
Complete + Construction supervision

Program

The ‘boiserie’, which translates as The Woodwork is a multi-function event center with a 1000-person capacity. The building emerges from the striped viticultural landscape of Provence, France, and is dominated by the giant Mount Ventoux. It is a unique example of timber and straw-bale construction.

The program is split between two volumes to soften its impact on the surroundings and rupture its scale. The Entry Pavilion is a low horizontal building inspired by the region’s dry-stone terraced retaining-walls called restanque in French. This pavilion opens out toward the landscape. In the background, a 12-meter inclined cedar shading façade protects the plastered exterior walls of the concert hall. The angle of the timber skin references the slopes of Mount Ventoux and creates a silhouette that communicates the civic nature of the meeting hall.

Description

The sloping filter is made from slats of silver-grey cedar which project animated shadows onto the ochre-colored planes of the hall. This double facade creates depth and a vibration of color and light. At night, the building is lit between the two skins, transforming it into a glowing lantern.

The concert hall’s atypical interior mirrors the exterior with the timber slats on the walls and ceiling using the same rhythm. The exterior wood is essentially turned inside-out to re-express the majestic volume. This timber ambiance evokes the traditional French community hall, and is ideal for a variety of possible configurations. The space is equipped with folding bleachers. It can be lit naturally or completely shaded from daylight. The use of wood and straw-bale insulation results in a versatile acoustic environment.

The space is infused by the smell of timber.