On the organizational level the primary choice of the project was to reconstruct the path on the entrance level between foyer and “cabaret” leading to the square with the Rue Louis Becker at the rear. This meant moving the choir rehearsal room to the floor above, adjoining the foyer of the large auditorium, where it can be used either as a rehearsal room or an extension of the foyer itself.
The architecture of the large auditorium was completely redesigned, seeking to repeat in the interior the system of modular elements used for the façades and working on the twofold theme of the theater as a machine(line sets and acoustic panels) and a place of neutral decor.
The stage was completely redesigned, equipping the Théâtre National Populaire with a large centrally-placed fly tower with two symmetrical wings housing the facilities for the stage and the artists.
The restructuring and expansion project preserved the simple rule of addition by symmetrical and homogeneous parts of volumes integrated with the existing ones, so the architecture of the new building is clearly distinguished from the old. In this respect the new volumes were faced with a grid of opaque plaster panels arranged regularly with horizontal grouting that repeats the lines of the existing building and a modular pattern that alternates glazed and paneled areas in accordance with the needs of the theater spaces.
The complex section of the auditoriums defines the rules of construction of the completion of the city block on Rue Becker, fostering a similar relationship of perception of the refined interior in relation to the exterior: the new Studio Theater (Petit Théâtre), intended as an experimental space, is thus visible from the street through the large windows and also related to the principal theater.
Photo credits: Pietro Savorelli