La Luciole Concert Hall
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 faCade 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 facades 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.

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.'

Description by Designboom

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Building Activity

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