The history of the Theatre MC93 is the result of a long series of events which began in 1974 when the idea of an experimental and modular theatre appeared, intended to comply with the requests of a new generation of young directors in full creative effervescence. The project was designed by the architects Valentin Fabre and Jean Perrottet in 1977 and completed in 1980.
Given the immediate success of the MC93, an extension of the public areas was carried out in 1990.
The construction of a new street with a tramway line in 1992 disrupts the urban setting of the MC93, bringing along noise and vibration issues which disturb the performances. Fabre and Perrottet continue their work by adding scenic workshops and various work spaces. Within 12 years, the surface area was nearly doubled, expanding from 6 000 to 11 000 sq. meters (65 000 to 118 000 sq. feet).
During thirty years, the MC93 never ceased to evolve. Yet in 2012, the building was about to be closed down for non-compliance with fire safety regulations. Meanwhile, the theaters and stage machinery were no longer suitable for contemporary needs.
An architectural competition is carried out and won by B+A Architects. The new project offers a global reflection on the internal functioning and the urban setting of the existing building, instead of adding another piece altering its initial image of an open theatre that strives to make culture accessible to everyone.
The complete refurbishment is an opportunity to provide the building with an efficient thermal insulation and a new skin. The multiple volumes are reunited under a pleated golden drape, giving the MC93 its new identity and presence in the urban landscape.
The lobby becomes the "hall of possibilities" – an open, flexible space for local, regional and national events. The lobby extends through the whole building, covering the entire height of the main façade which used to be windowless and providing direct access to all performing areas. The new vertical lobby reaches out to the city, giving the MC93 back its lacking focus.
A public rehearsal room is added above the main theatre, filling the gap between the fly tower and the small theatre, increasing the scenic possibilities available for various audiences.
The internal links are reorganized to restore the functionality and accessibility of the technical and rehearsing areas. A new elevator leads up to the roof-lobby that overlooks the Paris skyline with a view of Montmartre.
Despite the moderate building cost, all wiring, fire security systems, ventilation and stage machinery were replaced.
After two years of highly technical works, including reinforcement of the foundations and demolitions in a partially occupied building, the new MC93 is equipped with a new lobby and three theaters that meet the needs to today's public and performers.
Works on a modern building require thorough investigations and the gathering of historical data quite similar to historical buildings. At the MC93 it was necessary to understand the building techniques and the technical regulations of the time, and to track the time-line of the various extensions in order to piece together its original state. This knowledge made it possible to imagine a new architectural coherence. The works on the stage machinery was particularly complex. It had to adapt to the existing structures in order to extend them and to increase their functionality. This required a very specific mastery of metal works: precast, lifting, assembly, etc.
The history of the Theatre MC93 is the result of a long series of events which began in 1974 when the idea of an experimental and modular theatre appeared, intended to comply with the requests of a new generation of young directors in full creative effervescence. The project was designed by the architects Valentin Fabre and Jean Perrottet in 1977 and completed in 1980. Given the immediate success of the MC93, an extension of the public areas was carried out in 1990. The construction of a new...
- Year 2017
- Work finished in 2017
- Client Ville de Bobigny
- Cost 14,90 M€
- Status Completed works
- Type Multi-purpose Cultural Centres / Theatres / Concert Halls / Bars/Cafés / Interior Design / Book shops / Recovery/Restoration of Historic Buildings / Restoration of façades