Project: Extension of Théo Argence theater in Saint-Priest
Program: Classrooms and rehearsal studios, 200 seats auditorium, reception and management areas
Project team: Parc architectes (Representative) — Brizot & Masse (Structure) — Inex (Fluids) — Atelier FCS (Scenography) — Peutz & Associés (Acoustic) — BMF (Economy)
Client: City of Saint Priest
Status: Competition laureate — Canceled project


Initiated by Théo Argence, the performing arts have long been part of the DNA of Saint-Priest. With the evolution of the equipment, a wide range of shows may occur. Spectator capacity will increase from 660 to a maximum of 1,488 people.

The new Théo Argence theater will thus have a regional influence and will become a reference venue. It will make Place Ferdinand Buisson a remarkable place of spectacle in the Lyon Metropole. The original building was built in 1934 in the avant-garde style of the time: Art Deco. The new architectural project, takes up the main principles of this precursor style of modernity and reinterprets it in a contemporary way to create an atmospheric architecture playing with natural and artificial lights by gradually bringing spectators from daylight to darkness of the show.


The theater is located in a strategic and historic position in Saint-Priest. Located opposite the castle, it borders the founding avenue of the city and forms Ferdinand Buisson square, which is now served by tram.The extension of the building is a continuation of what already exists. The volume of the foyer and the facade of rue Henri Maréchal are preserved and restored to install the new brasserie which will develop in the original interior volume in double height with mezzanine. On the second floor a new small room will be fitted out in place of the current one. The facades on Jean Jaurès avenue and on the alley of the Gare du Tacot, sober in the Art Deco spirit, are composed of curved cornices raised the windows of the boxes and offices. On Ferdinand Buisson square a new figure is installed, a colonnade reminiscent of the neo-baroque peristyle that it replaces. Formed by four tapered posts that echo those of the facade of Maréchal street, it unifies the perspective of the alignments of trees. The corolla poles have glass block canopies that filter the sunlight. The new theater is a luminous pavilion that creates a new perspective in Saint-Priest.


To design comfortable and efficient equipment, the room turned 90 degrees and ends up in the center line of the square. The future theater will be a high performance scenographic tool. It will have a variable gauge. The main hall will have 956 seats which can be reduced to 644 and 458 seats thanks to sets of curtains to create more intimate atmospheres. Retractable bleachers will create a pit to attend standing shows offering nearly 1,500 seated / standing places. The stage is a tool with strong potential for staging. It is extendable thanks to a back stage and also has a stage below allowing a very wide range of shows to take place in Saint-Priest. For this, the future edifice is designed as simply as possible. The composition of the plan is symmetrical in order to limit exceptions and allow a good understanding of the overall plan. To ensure proper integration of the seismic risk, the rehabilitated part is limited to the head volume. The demolition work will thus be reduced and will escape the complications and vagaries of heavy rehabilitation. Using the spirit of the existing building, its sobriety, elegance and efficiency, the new theater will provide Saint-Priest with high-quality equipment for the coming decades.