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Ateliers O-S Architectes : Théâtre Jacques Carat

In October 2017, Ateliers OS Architects hit all three shots, open the red curtain and unveil their latest achievement: the Jacques Carat Theater in Cachan (94). A piece in three acts - demolition, renovation, extension - whose spectator is conquered, thanks to a distribution (volumes) relevant and a game (with materials) particularly striking.

It is in 1988 that the Mayor of Cachan, Jacques Carat, asks the architect Daniel Gay to enlarge the existing theater erected in 1963. 23 years later, the territorial public institution Grand-Orly Seine Bièvre launches a competition to renovate the equipment, in order to "Transforming the global urbanity of the district". A call won by the OS Workshops and their design for the least ambitious.

"Following an economic and structural diagnosis, the choice to preserve only the volume of the existing room as well as its stage cage made sense very early in the development of the project" explain the designers. In fact, only the central core is preserved; a remainder that the project managers surround with new buildings to accommodate on the ground floor "A new black box room", a foyer, an exhibition space, a cafeteria, as well as a scenic and technical pole in the basement and offices in R + 1.

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Following the objective of energizing the neighborhood in which the theater is located, or even to give it an identity in its own right, the Ateliers OS offer a singular architecture, with a certain signage dimension. Concretely, the outer envelope is thus composed of a glass base, «Who proposes an opening game and reveals the life of the building», surmounted by a concrete mineral skin, partially hollowed out like a claustra. At the top, a volume housing the stage cage overlooks the entire "To become a landmark that lights up on performance nights".

Inside, "a central street", the foyer, runs through the establishment in its length. In raw concrete and dressed in places of birch, this space acts as the third multipurpose scene, "Place of animation, experimentation and exhibition". Because if the Jacques Carat Theater is a place of representation, it also aims to host various artistic events, "Animating the life of the urban agglomeration". See you in a few seasons to know if the project deserves the Molière of the revitalization of the city of Cachan.

To learn more, visit the site of Ateliers OS Architects

Photographs: Cyril Weiner

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