Limoges Concert Hall
Located in a wooded area on the outskirts of a small city in central France, the concert hall in Limoges can accommodate up to 8,000 spectators. The concept for the project began with a double envelope: an outer skin made of wood arcs and translucent rigid polycarbonate sheets and an inner acoustical envelope of locally grown Douglas fir. The site—a clearing within a large forest, surrounded by trees that are more than 200 years old, in a region with an active lumber industry—suggested the use of wood.
The configuration of the double envelope with circulation in between—a scheme advantageous for both acoustical and thermal reasons—also opens in two directions, toward both the forest and the road. Between the two envelopes are the movement vectors: two ramps, one extending downward toward the lower tiers of the auditorium, and the other upward toward the upper tiers. Additionally, two straight "flying" staircases extend directly toward the top row of seats.
The soft translucency of the polycarbonate complements the wood frame by allowing light to filter in and out of the building, which keeps energy costs down by day and provides energy-efficient signage when the building is active in the evening. This dynamic contrast between an ancient building material and a novel technology is achieved through what may well be the world's largest polycarbonate facade.
Much of the material treatment was determined by energy conservation and sustainability considerations. The 5 cm-thick, semi-rigid, polycarbonate sheeting, with its multiple inner layers of cells, provides for both insulation and natural light filtration. The highest portion of the facade has a pixelated design silk-screened directly on the shell for additional solar protection. Natural ventilation is integrated into the concept so that the climate of the foyer can be kept at a temperate level with little additional heating required. The landscaping also helps to unify the building with its environment by covering the parking surface with a type of volcanic rock that can withstand the heavy traffic of a parking lot, but still allow native vegetation to grow and cover the parking surface. back
Competition 1st prize, 2003
Completion, spring 2007
6,000-seat concert hall
8,000 total capacity
150,000 sq. feet
Communauté d'Agglomération Limoges Métropole
Peter Mauss/Esto, Christian Richters
Lead Designer: Bernard Tschumi. Key Personnel: Véronique Descharrières, Joel Rutten, Jean-Jacques Hubert, Antoine Santiard, Dominic Leong, Matthieu Gotz, Alex Reid, Sarrah Khan, Chong-zi Chen, Michaela Metcalfe, Alan Kusov. Landscape Architect: Michel Desvigne. Local Architect: Atelier 4