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Paloma, Nîmes, France 
Friday 01 Feb 2013
 
Hard shell with a soft centre... 
 
Copyright: Stephane Chalmeau 
 
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Tetrarc creates dynamic new contemporary music venue in Nîmes Métropole 

A striking piece of architecture has emerged just on the outskirts of Nîmes. This intriguing form was designed by Tetrarc, whose portfolio of work includes a series of futuristic and thought-provoking creations. Paloma will become the new home for contemporary music venues at the Nîmes Métropolea, providing a space which the architects hope will become a new thriving hub for the citizens of all the surrounding towns.

The dynamic form is eye catching and evokes curiosity to every passerby. The angular shape has been created out of triangular elements which push outwards into the landscape, creating a unique interaction between the venue and the surrounding landscape.

This new music hall, located on the Remoulins and Avignon Road, is accessible to the towns of Marseilles, Avignon, Montpellier and Arles, and the developers hope that the space will bring together people from all of these towns and create a new creative hub. The area directly adjacent to the site is flat and bare which emphasises the sheer size of the new concert hall.

In addition to the unique design, the building has engaged sophisticated engineering which enables the delivery of performances, including live TV recording and the artist showcase residence, to effectively run at a high standard throughout the day. The architects have gained inspiration from a plethora of sources, most notably the music within Southern France.

There is a distinct contrast between the tough exterior façades and softer interior surfaces. A series of dark and light spaces are created by angled walls and unusual openings throughout the building. Tetrarc have taken inspiration from existing structures which are evident in various aspects of the building. The sculptural form creates a relationship between the abstract sculpture, suggestive of the town sculpture projects of artists in the 1960s and 1960s however this has been translated onto an urban scale, creating a susper-sized piece of sculptural architecture.

From a distance Paloma appears to be a single homogenous form, however when observed nearby, the Multiple facets become evident. The triangular elements have been organised to create a shell which wraps round the building, opening up to create the central courtyard and closing up to protect the air conditioning units located on the exterior façade.

These interactions merge together to create a distinctive entrance which then straightens upwards to house a large glass window that overlooks the square below. This opening introduces an abundance of natural light into the interior space and the outwards protrusion of the structure forms a primitive shelter for the outside space directly below.

The architects have used a diverse colour palette in the interior spaces which have been worked into the characteristics of Paloma. Inspired by the bullfighter, the darker hall areas is a contrast to the adjacent patio space which is painted in bright pink and flooded with natural light during the day.

Inside the space provides an array of facilities in addition to the main performance space. The resident artists have been provided with simply-designed apartments, located in the upper areas of the building which join onto a separate restaurant linked to the dressing rooms. There are six rehearsal studios fitted with specific acoustic conditions and contain the most up to date technology. These rooms will benefit local musicians and local educational institutes for their students, in addition to the resident artists.

Offices are located on the second floor and have a separate entrance, giving the occupants a sense of privacy and detachment whilst being at the centre of everything. A huge room opens up off the offices which is extended by a balcony, provides another multi-use space which will primarily be used as a reception area for trainees and interns.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
TETRARC
www.tetrarc.fr

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