Project: Rehabilitation of Versailles auditorium Program: 220 seats auditorium, music classrooms Site: Avenue de la Chancellerie, 78000 Versailles Client: Versailles Grand Parc Urban Agglomeration Status: Completed 2019 Photos: Thomas Lang
To rehabilitate the auditorium of the Regional Conservatorium of Music of Versailles, which has become dilapidated and restore it to the prestige it deserves, the project consisted in adding new spaces to the existing volume and giving the feeling that they are larger than they do not appear there. UP THE ROOM FLOOR The major operation of the project was to raise the floor of the room by 70cm so that it was accessible without steps. This makes the basement fully usable in order to install additional rehearsal studios. The clear height also makes it possible to achieve a very effective acoustic insulation between levels. The room has about 243 seats distributed between the floor and the balcony. The conservatory now includes 7 rehearsal studios, a room for an orchestra and a room for choral singing.
ENLARGE SPACE To work on the ambiance of the place, we used 4 simple, long-lasting and inexpensive materials: light, wood and color. First, the ceilings are painted white and backlit to create a feeling of height. Then, the floor is dressed in a dark and polished terrazzo to accentuate its depth. Then, the functional facilities such as the elevators or the sanitary facilities are set back by a black paint. Finally the auditorium room is enhanced by a blond wood covering. This natural material brings sensuality and gives the room the best acoustic qualities. It recalls the material of musical instruments. The ceiling of the room is white and lit to stretch the interior volume.
ACOUSTICS AND SCENOGRAPHY The work on the invisible material that is sound has received much attention. First of all, the insulation between premises has been reinforced and all the studios are separated from the structure by interior boxes mounted on resilient materials. Then the convivial spaces are treated with high-performance absorbent materials such as the acoustic coating that covers the ceilings of the hall and the foyer. Finally, the auditorium has been modeled to optimize the precision of its acoustics both in terms of diffusion and reverberation time thanks to the domed wooden coverings.
NEW EQUIPMENT: MORE ACCESSIBLE AND CONTEMPORARY The architecture of the new auditorium was designed using the markers of the original building, the cylinder of the room, the domed acoustic reliefs, the mineral floor. Today, it updates this equipment to make it more accessible, safer and above all more efficient. The interior staging between wood, white, black and light inscribes the room in a contemporary architectural writing to make it an instrument at the service of music and excellence for decades and generations of musicians.