in jonzac, a town in southwestern france, nantes-based practice tetrarc architectes has completed a convention center that includes a large events hall as well as a 500-seat auditorium. the brief for the project called for a design that would express the ‘dynamic nature of the region’, while establishing a bold and distinctive public presence. in response, the architects created a monolithic black structure, which appears partially embedded in the valley landscape.

tetrarc architectes jonzac
all images © charly broyez



entry to the tetrarc-designed building is found at a single access point. from here, all guests move through a flexible reception area that includes a front desk, a ticket office, and bar. a large aperture to the south frames the landscape and floods the foyer with natural light. all of the building’s facilities are directly connected to a ‘circulation gallery’, which serves as a break-out space for seminar participants to converse, or a foyer where attendees can discuss their impressions of a concert or a play.

tetrarc architectes jonzac
the monolithic black structure appears partially embedded in the valley landscape



the convention center’s two main venues are a 500-seat auditorium and a large multi-functional hall. the theater auditorium offers an elegant setting for high-end shows. the acoustically engineered space is designed as two distinct volumes: the stage and the audience area. waves of wood, which clad the walls and ceiling, hide the catwalks and their lighting, and ensure that the acoustics can be finely adjusted.

tetrarc architectes jonzac
the brief for the project called for a design that would express the ‘dynamic nature of the region’



separated from the auditorium with an acoustic buffer, the multi-functional hall, referred to as the ‘agora’, can be used for a variety of conventions and conferences. the space — which has been designed to be as flexible as possible — can accommodate tiered seating for over 400 guests, or can be transformed into stalls for 160 people. its open plan nature offers the possibility of hosting anything from trade shows to commemorative or family ceremonies.

tetrarc architectes jonzac
the scheme seeks to establish a bold and distinctive public presence

tetrarc architectes jonzac
a light-filled atrium welcomes visitors to the venue

tetrarc architectes jonzac
a timber staircase leads to the building’s upper level

a large aperture to the south frames the landscape and floods the foyer with natural light

tetrarc architectes jonzac
the rattan interior of the theater auditorium was crafted by METALOBIL

tetrarc architectes jonzac
the auditorium contains 500 seats

the multi-functional hall, referred to as the ‘agora’, can be used for a variety of events

tetrarc architectes jonzac
a bold color has been applied to this circulation space

tetrarc architectes jonzac
the angled forms mimic the surrounding landscape

tetrarc architectes jonzac
the convention center is located in jonzac, a town in southwestern france



project info:


contracting owner: the haute saintonge federation of municipalities – city of jonzac
operation driver: SEMDAS – biotope BE environnemental
architect urbanist landscape designer: tetrarc
architect project director: michel bertreux & daniel caud
project manager: rémi tymen
project assistant: timothé naux, matthieu blanche, silvia fioravanti, maïlys le crom, christophe grob
landscape: louise follin
secretary: elodie baril
accounting: véronique delezir
communication: pauline lejeune
program: construction of a congress center including a multipurpose room, an auditorium theater, a seminar area, a catering service, a bar and service areas, technical areas, access for future establishment of a hotel residence and a functional rehabilitation center
cost: €13.5 million HT
mission: mission de base + EXE partielle
schedule: study: 2013-14 / completed project: 2017
photography: charly broyez

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