henning larsen to expand paris' largest opera house with street-level public foyer

henning larsen to expand paris' largest opera house with street-level public foyer

danish architecture firm henning larsen has won a competition to expand and transform the opéra bastille — the largest opera house in paris. the project will result in a redesigned and extended public foyer open to street-level activity, expanded infrastructure and workshop facilities, and a new 800-seat modular space for use in rehearsals and performances. located between the place de la bastille and the viaduc des arts, the original building — designed by uruguayan architect carlos ott in 1983 — is located in paris’ bustling 12th arrondissement. the expansion draws energy from this context, and seeks to put the opera in closer dialogue with its surroundings.

henning larsen paris opera bastille



‘our goal is to fulfill the original vision and potential for the opéra bastille in a way that honors and accents the existing architecture,’ says søren øllgaard, partner and design director at henning larsen. ‘we want to open the opera up to its surroundings in this busy area of paris, and to make it a local hotspot of urban social life. for us, this is an opportunity to bring new life to a city landmark in a way that blends our own architectural identity with carlos ott’s legacy.’

henning larsen paris opera bastille



within the foyer, the redesign establishes a dual-level ‘indoor street’ that provides a more inclusive commons for civic life. behind the scenes, an extensive transformation of workshop and construction facilities aims to boost productivity for the opéra bastille’s set and costume crews. the venue is extended towards the viaduc des arts where the new building seeks to merge with the gardens located on top of the former viaduct.

henning larsen paris opera bastille



franck fdida, a paris native, will head the henning larsen project team in close collaboration with reichen & robert architects, dUCKS scenographic and lighting specialists, PEUTZ acoustic consultants, and CET engineering. construction on the opéra bastille expansion and transformation will begin in 2019, with a final project completion scheduled for 2023.

henning larsen paris opera bastille



project info:


location: paris, france
client: opéra bastille 
team: henning larsen architects, reichen & robert architects, dUCKS, PEUTZ, CET engineering

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