L'Autre Canal Concert Hall in Nancy
“L’autre Canal”, as this concert hall is known, stages not only ear-splitting rock concerts, but also dance performances, disco and chanson evenings. It forms part of the Scène de Musique actuelles (SMAC), a government programme to consolidate the network of cultural facilities offered in particular to young people. For some years now, a 19th-century industrial area in the north-east of Nancy not far from the centre has been undergoing a process of urban revitalization. Plans exist to develop housing, buildings for commercial uses and a faculty of architecture here.
For the concert hall, which occupies the site of a former slaughterhouse, the architects designed a compact, soundproof bunker that would attract attention from afar by means of rows of offset fluorescent tubes along the facade. Screened off acoustically, the building nevertheless opens itself visually to the surroundings. This was accomplished with a “fil rouge” – a common thread that runs through the entire building and that manifests itself on the four facades as well. The entrance also glows bright red like a wide-open mouth, drawing visitors into a foyer in the same colour. A distinguishing feature of the two concert halls is the use of dark expanded-metal mesh laid over acoustic panels and reinforced concrete. Movable stages and rows of seating that can be lowered below floor level facilitate a wide range of uses and allow audiences of different sizes to be accommodated.