Renovated numerous times during its history, Gaumont-Alésia, a Parisian cinema housed in a structure that is over 80 years old, will now be revamped. With a design that emphasizes filmography’s presence in modern culture, the Gaumont-Alésia is set to become an inviting cultural hub for the surrounding city, showcasing cinema’s influence on both the interior and exterior.
Both street facades will be composed of glass curtain walls shaded by pleated metal panels. These panels will be perforated by hundreds of LED “pixels,” which create an image across the pleats.
Both entrances to the building become animated walls, broadcasting film stills, movie trailers, and advertisements, all meant to entice passersby.
The LEDS are spaced fewer and farther apart toward the edges of the building, creating a stippling effect around the border of the images. At the entrances these animated panels will peel upwards, creating a canopy under which patrons can walk.
The building’s main entrance is set at a busy intersection on Paris’s General Leclarc Boulevard, and has an additional façade facing the street of Alésia.
The three-story atrium into which visitors enter also declares the building’s programmatic purpose, albeit in a less obvious way.
The stepped ceilings that funnel visitors into the building’s foyer mimic the seating of the theaters on the floors above. In addition, small theater-like seating located at the entrances to these theaters provide impromptu meeting places, as well as seating to enjoy movie previews and clips projected on the opposing walls. These spaces are set amidst a number of side stairways and escalators, emphasizing the building’s aesthetic as a kind of vertical sculpture.
The building’s amenities, including ticketing and food vendors are located in a first-floor hallway that runs the length of the cinema and connects both entrances.