Countries: FRANCE
Date: 2008
Situated in a distinctly non-built-up area outside the city of Strasbourg, between the suburbs and the city centre. The Strasbourg Zenith, the biggest in France (“Zenith” is the name given to all these music facilities sharing the same stylistic features and hence awarded the “Zenith Label”). A strange orange-coloured object came to light in the horizontal landscape, more like a sculpture (or a signal) than a space for music and culture. Starting from the centre, the heart of the space for events, you go beyond the flight of steps and the concrete and you arrive where there is an interstitial space, preparing you for the outside environment. The orange-coloured fabric, composed of glass fibre with silicone spread across two sides, is a transition and a filter between the large 20 m-high foyer, with its steel structure, and the outside. This sculpture, with distinctive non-parallel ring-shaped folds, is opaque at daytime and almost transparent at night-time. It turns into a magical lamp and makes the place stand out from all those non-places. So the party can begin. The geometry of the Strasbourg Zenith derives from the rotation of two ovals generating a dynamic form and offering thousands of different viewpoints. Endless things can be said about its outside image, due to the fact that it can be perceived in endless ways. The edge of the dramatically designed roof descends towards an asymmetric oval. The foyer is another place for hosting events and meetings, where people gather before joining the collective rituals of lights, sounds and noises, up on the huge stage. The Strasbourg Zenith as a striking stage mechanism. This can be seen from the roof structure, made of beams that are 4-6 meters in height and that can reach 110 meters in length, combined to form a sort of bouquet in the middle. The pathways, that radiate out at this height, also help the technological apparatus of the huge stage.
Photo credits: Airdiasol, Moreno Maggi, Philippe Ruault
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