The new Carreau du Temple by Studio Milou Architecture
Studio Milou has been in charge of the rehabilitation of the Carreau du Temple, one example of Paris’s great tradition of 19th-century steel-and-glass architecture.
According to Studio Milou, a minimal act of rehabilitation aims to reveal a pure and simple architectural form of the few surviving examples of this typical architecture.
The project aims to free the halls from any trace of networks, ducts or technical service structures. It minimizes the visual impact of the work on the facades. The aim is to allow the structure to stand forth and to bathe all its sides with light. This will reveal and illuminate the architectural form of the structure, putting it at the service of the building like a vast umbrella set down over public space.
Steel, grey-coloured chestnut wood, grey-and-blue lacquered steel, interior volumes in grey and gold: The materials and the colours used have been chosen to match those of the architecture and the Paris sky.
The studio propose an urban-like organization of the interior space of the new Carreau du Temple, creating parallel spaces on every level that are arranged around a central axis and a walkway around the edge. This spatial organization allows almost infinite uses to be imagined for the building, as well as easy reversibility. These features of the design will be resources for the building at every stage of its life.
The project envisages the construction of a genuine, comfortable auditorium on the ground floor level. This can be used for musical events, and it will be served by a spectacular foyer area leading out onto the street. The ground-floor auditorium expresses the cultural dimension of the project, and it helps to reveal the elegant and simple character of the open volume of the hall, like a “golden shell” contrasting with the large dimensions of the main nave.
The design proposes to use the mezzanine floor as a service floor, which will allow all the technical aspects of the project to be kept apart. Free of pipes, ducts, and technical installations, the interior volume will thereby retain its free and open character.
In the same way, the project includes a system of built-in features that can be raised or lowered at will. The screens used to darken the interior can be raised as desired, as can the seating around the edges, this flexibility allowing the creation of a multi-use area that can be entirely opened up onto the surrounding public space. The automatic system employed allows future users of the Carreau to change the building’s configuration in a couple of minutes without the need for any external help through the simple movement of the screens and tiers.
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