‘la luciole concert hall’ by moussafir architectes, alençon, franceimage © luc boegly




built by the west entrance to the city, ‘la luciole concert hall’ by moussafir architectes appears to be an urban beacon, set to counterpoint to the linear façade of the adjacent exhibition center. exterior finishing abstractly weave the building to its natural surroundings, most pointedly, the ever changing blue skies that stretch over the nearby ocean. the initial project proposed cladding the façades in a combination of matte and polished stainless steel that would reflect the fleeting clouds, but the latest design iteration favored corrugated steel siding. an abstractly composed arrangement of white and blue panels suggests a pixelated fragment of the sky. with darker shades concentrated where the two cylinders meet, the overall effect evokes a geyser linking the earth and the sky.



moussafir architectes: la luciole concert hall, francethe drum-like structures in context



moussafir architectes: la luciole concert hall, francemembrane stretched over the circular roof of the auditorium may act as a projection screenimage © luc boegly



moussafir architectes: la luciole concert hall, francethe building also displays a healthy contrast with its surroundingsimage © luc boegly



moussafir architectes: la luciole concert hall, franceexterior finishing reinterprets the normandian skyimage © luc boegly




situated on the edge of alençon, in the rural landscape of lower normandy, the venue resulted from the efforts of a passionate man who has and continues to serve as its director for almost two decades. founded in 1994, this concert facility has carved itself a reputation, attracting renowned musicians to its tiny performance hall. several years ago, the municipality agreed to finance the extension of la luciole. the competition brief required a larger concert hall that would maintain the sense of intimacy and the enveloping quality that defined the original space. the desire to bring people as close to the stage as possible has literally shaped the restructured venue, wherein artists are almost surrounded by their audience. structurally, the project consists of two cylindrical steel frames and a concrete enclosure for the stage (smaller concrete boxes are also used for entrances and exits.) an arch emerging where the two cylinders intersect marks the border between the stage and the audience. simple in itself, the steel structure required some serious development work as the architects aimed to minimize the use of materials without compromising stability. the evolution of the forms shifted from rectangular to cylindrical, yet the core idea – two tilted, interconnected volumes containing the audience and the stage – remained intact. of the work, architect jacques moussafir says:


‘it’s somewhat bizarre, and eccentric, and very different from everything else designed by our office.’


the quickness of the proposal’s conception is reflected in the building’s bold geometry and exuberant color scheme — an architectural translation of the flamboyant personality of the man who created la luciole.



moussafir architectes: la luciole concert hall, francelobby and box officeimage © luc boegly



moussafir architectes: la luciole concert hall, francestage view shows curved, multilayer insulation panels, as well as suspending acoustical panels from a rounded surfaceimage © luc boegly



moussafir architectes: la luciole concert hall, francethe new, 650-strong auditorium almost encircles the stageimage © luc boegly



moussafir architectes: la luciole concert hall, france

moussafir architectes: la luciole concert hall, francesite plan


moussafir architectes: la luciole concert hall, francefacade tectonic diagram


moussafir architectes: la luciole concert hall, francesections


moussafir architectes: la luciole concert hall, franceplans show that the artist’s room and offices are mainly placed around and above the stage



project info:



client: alençon city council
location: alençon, france
brief: extension: reception area, 650 seat auditorium, offices, service spaces. renovation: bar, rehearsal studio, dressing rooms.
budget: 2,653,000 €. ex tax
nsa: 1,274 sq m
built: 2008architect: moussafir architectes (jacques moussafir with francesca de marchi, nicolas hugoo, alexis duquennoy, guillaume cournut, laurent théaux and albert ruiz)partner engineers: a&t (stage designers), peutz (acoustic designers), batiserf (structural engineers), alto (mechanical engineers), rené micout (quantity surveyor).contractors: sagir (concrete structure), renaudat (metal frameworks), arblade (roofing & siding), vonthron (electricity), gondouin (waterproofing), ates (partitions and lining), daupley (exterior woodwork), r2c (metalwork), polybat (paintwork), amg fechoz (stage machinery), bezannier (wooden stage flooring), ducré (hvac & plumbing), fabripose (interior woodwork), qualiprofil (suspended ceilings), assisesportive (seating), audiotechniques (stage electrics), azur scénic (stage fabrics), thyssen (elevator), gagneux décors (flooring).

materials: colourwashed raw concrete; steel structure; veined steel siding by haironville; multilayered plasterboard lining; polycarbonate panels by danpalon everlite; fibracoustic panels in wood fibre and rockwool; aluminium door and window frames (exterior); exposed concrete floor with toughening finish; wooden floor on bearing joist.