When you enter the theatre in this 18th-century building in the heart of Paris, your eyes are caught by about twenty intriguing panels hanging from the ceiling at different heights. The overhead space framed by columns is broken up by alternating panels and gaps and made lighter by overlapping colours. MAD’s brief was to implement a beautiful design in a partially listed building, while respecting modern safety and access standards. These objectives were met and the freshly renovated theatre hall at the National Young Deaf People’s Institute in Paris was delivered last September.
Most of the work went into restructuring the theatre hall with its impressive size. The architectural approach was to “introduce a softer, more modern harmony of colours, while letting the area breathe,” explains Jonathan Myara, the founder of MAD, in an article published in Chroniques d’Architecture https://chroniques-architecture.com/atelier-mad-injs/ with the attractive title “de l’acoustique et des couleurs” (Of acoustics and colours).
The venue, which is mainly for young people with hearing disabilities, presented specific acoustic challenges, which were carefully thought out in order to reconcile both the technical and visual requirements. “Rather than try to hide the panels, which we needed quite a number of to fill the whole ceiling space, we decided to display them and make them part of the design”, continues Myara. Texaa®’s Stereo acoustic panels met these requirements with their acoustic properties and the method to implement them, while offering the complete Aeria range of twenty-two textile colours. The architect found all he needed to design a subtle composition to match the colour scheme chosen for the hall. The panels were hung from the ceiling according to a precisely designed arrangement at varying heights. Their different sizes form a visual display that modernises the space and enhances the feel of the hall.