Zenith music hall by Massimiliano
and Doriana Fuksas



Zenith music hall by architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas has opened in Strasbourg, France.


The interior and exterior of the structure are covered with translucent, orange fabric so the building appears solid in daylight but reveals its internal structure when illuminated at night.


The hall seats 10,000. Projections on the textile skin act as advertisements for current performances.


Photographs by Philippe Ruault.

The following information is from the architects:


By its playful form and character, the Zenith music hall contributes to the great Varietee Theaters which were built since the Zenith building in Paris was erected in 1984.


The new Zenith building is an important project for the exhibition area in Strasbourg. It will be the new attraction which will give new impulse to the future development of the city’s infrastructure.


The concept of the design is based on a modular and a well balanced organization of the different elements: good views for all spectators, best acoustics and an optimized cost management already addressed during the concept phase of the design. The Zenith music hall provides ideal facilities for the guests and the artist performing.


The building is to be understood as a single, unifying and autonomous sculpture. By layering and rotating the ellipsoid metal façade structure, the design receives a very dynamic character.


This is underlined with the translucent textile membrane, which covers the steel-frame and creates magnificent light effects.


These orange membranes also cover the volume of the music hall itself.


This is the heart of the building: a totally enclosed and protected space, which creates a special theatre atmosphere.


Projections on the outer skin create playful effects and convert the façade into a huge billboard communicating with the passers-by for upcoming events.


The building's appearance exposed to daylight is of a monolithic calmness that mutates at dawn.


The inner experience is transmitted to the outside through the transparent skin: the whole building becomes a “light sculpture”.


Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas
Musichall / 2003-2007
Client: Communitée urban de Strasbourg (S.E.R.S.) / Contact: Herr Husson Area:14.000 qm , 12.000 Seats
Internationale Competition, winning project
Accustik-planer: Altia-Acoustique












Posted on Thursday June 26th 2008 at 12:51 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • this is beautiful.

  • ongjunhao

    nice effect at night, perhaps abit temporal looking…as if it isn’t a permanent strcuture…

  • gaque


  • Alan Milliken

    another beautiful object out of context. it could very well be in caracas or in siberia, it works!! just don’t forget the 12000 parking places.

  • bo


  • quinton

    Can’t believe the Germans went through last night! Very lucky indeed, still think it will be Russia’s tournament!

    Check this building out, some of the drawings are quite cool, especially the section

  • edward

    Certainly an exciting and original concept, but I wonder how well the acoustics are handled. I particularly like the massive hinged struts around the perimeter supporting the exterior membrane, giving a sense of the structural forces at work here.

  • cpcp

    what interesting structural work!!
    so GREAT to see plans and some structural engineering detail for once dezeen! MORE PLEASE!!

    love the contrast between the light exterior steel structure/canvas and interior concrete.
    skin very successful at night – cant help wonder if white would have worked better during the day??

  • … amazing. As I can see, there are many accoustic solutions placed all over the walls and roof. Or that´s what it seems at first sight, at least. So accoustic conditions should have been carefully analysed, as usual in this kind of huge venues.

    … I like the hinged struts too.

  • Boogie

    reminds me of the UNstudio thing in Lelystad… although different material and more organic…

  • Yes, the beauty of architecture can be seen in here.

  • John

    Love it.

  • J

    The separation between the inside and outside is perfectly done. Inside is the simple, functional music hall. Outside is the wonderful orange skin which works iconic. It’s separated but still a whole.

  • Rockstar

    Also, Foster is building a new Zenith building in St.Etienne…almost finished!

  • I take it no symphonies will be performing there given the building’s tendency to transform music into an orange trussed Home-Depot-like commodity.

  • Neesha

    Its wonnnnderful, amazing……..

  • edward

    Re acoustics, those hard plastic chairs will make a difference in reverb depending on empty or occupied. I would think.

  • Bioz

    its perfect, just integrating the parking , would be made by god

  • jed

    it’s great. i just wonder how many performances in a year can handle a space of that size!

  • Randall

    Thanks for the technical drawings as well. I’ll be on the lookout for images revealing the projection of images on the exterior skin. I’ve always loved Strasbourg. Not totally clear on how the sound is going to be managed. Acoustically it seems like it’s for anything but music.

  • felix

    Picture number 5 got to be turned for 90° at right.
    (Sorry for my english)

  • its simplly gr8 design ….



  • Paul, Yorkshire

    Nice, but how does the rainwater drain from the roof?

  • Me

    Lovely to mix classics with new, new atmosphere for everlasting performances

  • Tom

    What’s with you people?

    Nice, but. Lovely, but. Nice, but this idea was first done in Spain zzzzzzz. Always looking for some fault to prove you’re an architect.

    This building is freaking beautiful. That’s enough.

  • wartian

    nice and wonderful!we can feel the passion of Massimiliano
    and Doriana Fuksas here!!!god bless you all be the next Pritzker prize winner!

  • ARCH. Ahmad Nabil

    nice design and brilliagnt solution for the plan
    but i want to know the name and description of the material used in covering ?? it’s made of what???
    and i wanna know its price?

  • Richie

    I just came across this by way of the Mies Van Der Rohe award link. Beautiful project, I love the change in character from daytime to nighttime.. I’d also like to find out more about the membrane material – some type of fabric?

  • agata

    gorgeous! Tom, I give you ten! ;) It does sometimes feel like a competition of knowledge, but let’s give everyone some credit. At least this way the interest is obvious..

  • Lee

    The concept of this reminds me of Rome auditorium… a larger-than-life object in a sparse landscape that looks to sit on the center, being the performance room much like a hat on a cane, but fastened together.
    From within, both structure and form are equally important and visible.
    Both beautiful forms that whisper of its contents.

  • Very nice architecture.
    What kind of material is being used for the material?

  • Scott W

    Truly fantastic structural expression and day time/night time contrast. This building manages to be iconic without using cheap over-the-top spectacle architecture. I’d also like to know what the exterior material is and if I had one complaint I’d say maybe another colour than orange would be more appealing, but nothing is perfect! Overall, this is a fantastic building.