Modern Music Centre

Designed by Hérault Arnod Architectes in Évreux, France, this music centre features a central public space called “the deck” that crosses the whole building and distributes the different functions.

Hérault Arnod Architectes, Modern Music Centre, Évreux, 2017
This Contemporary Music Centre (SMAC) is a musical complex consisting of two different auditoriums and recording studios, linked together by a public area called “the deck”, running through the building from end to end. The design is based on the principle that, instead of being mere consumers of entertainment, users can build their own experience by moving from one place to the other.


One of the challenges of the architecture was to create a synergy with the fairground activities – parties, flea markets, circuses, etc. To resist and exist in relation to the vast expanse of the fairground, the structure is dense, sculptural and autonomous. The main concert hall is located on the first floor, overhanging the entrance on the northern side. For acoustic reasons, the concert rooms and recording studios are separate concrete boxes. The whole structure is enveloped in a light metal skin, while a double wall or over-roof that acts as an additional acoustic feature.

Hérault Arnod Architectes, Modern Music Centre, Évreux, 2017
Hérault Arnod Architectes, Modern Music Centre, Évreux, 2017
From the outside, the volume is opaque, composed of triangular facets, some of them made of polished stainless steel that reflects the surrounding trees. It is imbued with a dual internal motion, the movement of the deck that crosses the building and the movement of the roof which rises gradually to embrace the main auditorium. The deck operates like an immense interior/exterior hall stretching from the street to the esplanade. This corridor distributes and shows the different architectural elements: the main auditorium hall, the local radio station studio, the recording studios and the club with live-music café and its glass double facade fan folded for acoustic reasons. The deck opens southwards to become a wide porch, an urban theatre that acts both as a terrace for the club, and as a stage for outdoor concerts or shows.
Hérault Arnod Architectes, Modern Music Centre, Évreux, 2017
Hérault Arnod Architectes, Modern Music Centre, Évreux, 2017

Modern Music Centre
, Évreux, France
Architect: Hérault Arnod Architectes
Project manager: Camille Bérar
Plumbing: Inex
Structure: Batiserf
Cost evaluation: Michel Forgue
Acoustics: Lasa
Area: 3,020 sqm
Completion: 2017

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