Calvi Balagne, Corsica, France

Project: Construction of the theater of Calvi Balagne
Program: Theater
Project team: Parc architectes (Mandatory) — ADPA (Associated architects) — BATISERF (Structure) — Nicolas Ingénierie (Fluides) — BMF (Economist)
Client: City of Calvi
Status: Competition 2018



The Calvi Balagne performance hall is a major issue for the community of municipalities. The proposed project aims to mark the imagination up to the ambitions of the city. This exceptional building is surprising, mysterious and bright. Inside, it contains an atmosphere of freshness subdued with light. At its heart is a black box where all type of shows will take place that will build the cultural imagination of the inhabitants of Calvi and the surrounding municipalities.


The building presents itself as a rock. It gives the entrance to the city a memorable singularity.
Installed in a slight movement of the ground, it seems to emerge from the ground. Around it, the arrangements are simple and enhance the pine forest floor with a play of gravel, tuff and rocks. In the middle of the trees, at the edge of the roundabout, the cultural center arouses curiosity.
Its assertive minerality echoes the stone constructions, the ramparts of the citadel and the neighboring mountains. This rock is studded with luminous spots. The glass blocks encrusted in the walls light up in the evening and the dissident infiltrate the sun's rays during the day.



Built in concrete, the texture of the facades is obtained by successive passes of different granulometries which will express sedimentation like geological strata. If at first glance the volume seems regular, we quickly discover that its walls are slightly inclined. The bias of the walls is called "fruit" in architecture. This device is traditionally found in the ramparts or in window openings. The fruit is generalized throughout the design of the project. It produces perspective surprises. Regular shapes turn out to be biased. The perspectives are increased and seem to make the building larger than it is. The different biases generate a spectacular perceptual experience.



Approaching the building from the pine forest, you descend slowly towards the entrance through a large forecourt. We enter the shadows passing under the concrete veil to discover a large hall filled with freshness. Inside, you can feel that daylight punctuates the facade by making the glass blocks sparkle. Daylight also pierces the roof at the top of a large spiral staircase. We conceive of a terrace on the building from which we could contemplate the whole bay. Then it is towards the room that we head accompanied by the points of light. We then discover a black amphitheater entirely designed as a modular tool to accommodate all types of shows thanks to its modular acoustics, its variable gauge and its scenographic equipment. Installed, we then wait for the lights to come on to get carried away by the show.