Zénith St-Etienne

Photo credits © Odile Decq


A spiral of energy, packed into a condensed form.  As a free-standing sculptural installation which faces the town, the Zénith is, by its very nature, an architectural object which strongly reflects its emblematic role as a theatre and concert hall.  It asserts a playful and original presence at the heart of the Plaine Achille, a site which is dedicated to recreation.  Its visual impact is intense, both day and night.


An enigmatic structure, with its condensed spatial form, coiled on itself and clad in black-lacquered steel, the Zénith sparkles in the light of day, which reflects from its undulations and facets.  As night falls, the façade, a cascading arrangement of glass-enclosed spaces, reveals the inner secrets of the structural shell and radiates a strong orange glow from the heart of the building, which suggests both the colour and the warmth of a fireplace.  The structure then becomes a beacon which shines deep into the night, evocative of the warmth and pleasure of theatrical spectacle and sending out an attractive rallying call to the far distance.



Saint-Etienne, France
Competition Project