Meet “La Luciole” (French for “firefly”), an ambitious and demanding artistic project started in 1994, that despite the fact that only 250 people could enjoy the musical performances, it became over time a strong regional identity attracting famous musicians and delivering quality programming.
Located in Alençon, a little gem in Lower Normandy still unspoilt by tourism, but with much to offer in terms of history, architecture and traditions to the discerning traveller, “La Luciole” resulted from the efforts of its passionate director and several years ago it showcased a new auditorium and an improved modern look. The municipality has financed the extension of this concert hall and starting with 2008 Moussafir Architectes Associés offered a new unique identity to it.
The aim of this project was to create a larger concert facility for 650 people maintaining in the same time that friendly and intimate atmosphere that distinguised the original space, renowned for the way it brought audiences closer to artists. This desire has shaped the building’s cylindrical forms preserving the core idea – two tilted, interconnected volumes containing the audience and the stage. The new concert venue displays above all a non-referential design, a minimalist object emerging from the ground. Its bold geometry with exuberant color palette seems to reveal a pixilated fragment of the sky, often covered with the fleeing clouds in the Normandy sky.
Randomly arranged white and blue panels contrasts beautifully with darker shades where the two circular forms meet, creating an interesting effect that evokes a geyser linking the earth and the sky. The new Luciole acts as an urban beacon in counterpoint to the linear façade of the adjacent exhibition center. Although simple in itself, the steel structure presented some challenges in designing it while assembling the curved insulation panels and suspending acoustic sheets from the rounded surfaces of the performance hall. Moreover, serious development work needed to be done in order to reduce the use of materials without jeopardize the building’s stability. It resulted a concert facility with a bizzare and eccentric architecture, yet modern and very original.
Photos © Luc Boegly & Moussafir Architectes Associés via Archdaily
Architects: Moussafir Architectes Associés
Location: 171 Rue de Bretagne, Alençon, France
Design Team: Jacques Moussafir with Francesca De Marchi, Nicolas Hugoo, Alexis Duquennoy, Guillaume Cournut, Laurent Théaux and Albert Ruiz
Budget: 2,653,000 €. ex tax
Client: Alençon City Council
Area: 1,274 sqm