This timber-clad cinema in the south of France was designed by architects Encore Heureux to evoke both the arched facades of art deco picture houses and the herringbone walls of local tobacco-drying sheds (+ slideshow).
Located beside a former military camp in Auch, Ciné 32 is a five-screen cinema contained inside a staggered row of numbered wooden sheds.
"Rather than a large infrastructure-type multiplex, we wanted to create the image of a collection of small neighbourhood cinemas together," explains Encore Heureux.
Zig-zagging wooden slats dress the arched gables of each structure, while numbers one to five are hand-painted over the surfaces using a traditional decorative font.
One screen is contained inside each of the sheds and every one is furnished with different coloured seating.
Above: photograph is by Nicola Delon
The architects comment: "Cinema has this unique opportunity to gather different people for a common but yet unusual journey. We wish to offer remarkable conditions for such a trip."
A sixth shed gives the cinema a double-height reception and is contrastingly clad with translucent polycarbonate.
Activity workshops are contained in this part of the building, alongside offices, an exhibition space, a cafe and a terrace.
Above: photograph is by Adélaide Maisonabe
Photography is by Sébastien Normand, apart from where otherwise indicated.
Above: photograph is by Adélaide Maisonabe
Here's a short project description from Encore Heureux:
Cinema at Auch
To built a five rooms cinema for CINE 32 association has to answer some challenges. What else than a shoe box as you find in suburban territory? What kind of identity would suit to a meeting point, place of discoveries, debates and diversity? What presence for a brand new building right downtown, in place of an old military camp? How could we propose a place and an identity that fit to Cine 32 and its actions towards an always broader and mixed public?
We came up with images of old cinemas' pediment and tobacco dryer from the south-west of France, with their openwork natural wood façade. We also care for an assumed double life image, an adequate day and night use.
Cinema has this unique opportunity to gather different people for a common but yet unusual journey. We wish to offer remarkable conditions for such a trip.
A strong relationship
To carry this adventure out we've looked preciously to the relationship between architect and client. Every step of conception has produced multiple studies. For instance, projection rooms were subject to a narrative outline and climatic environments ; bases leading us to built atmospheres. Thus, we go through starry night (first room) to sunrise (second room).
Interior and façade lights were developed specifically to this project with an effort of economy, consistency and precision. As were the custom-made administration's furnitures.
Artist Bonnefrite has lead building's signage with a delicate touch. The main sign, on avenue de l'Yser side, is a powerful and joyful gesture toward the city. Hand-painted numbers on pediments reveal the diversity of both spaces and styles in cinema.
Strong involvement from local construction firms allowed us to respect lead time and expected budget equally with a common requirement for the result. The adventure proved to be forceful and appealing.
Above: site plan - click above for larger image
Above: ground floor plan - click above for larger image
Above: first floor plan - click above for larger image
Above: front elevation - click above for larger image
Above: long section one - click above for larger image
Above: long section two - click above for larger image
Above: cinema section one - click above for larger image
Above: cinema section two - click above for larger image
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