La Nouvelle Comedie
Geneva, Switzerland, 2009
international open competition
Ville de Geneve
Total floor area
underground + plaza level + 2
SADAR+VUGA (Jurij Sadar, Bostjan Vuga, Tina Hocevar, Sven Kalim, Edmond Muller)
The Nouvelle Comédie is a compressed container, a non-monumental building, a sublime machine of theatre production. Like an urban exhibition, the building reveals its internal activity to the outer world, and acts as a manufacturer of spectacle through the production and performance of theatre. The building is a catalyst for the urban revitalization of the Eaux-Vives district. Linked to the underground shopping gallery and CEVA train station, and looking towards the voie verte, the building will be the heart of the future gathering and leisure space of the district.
Four parallel structural and service environmental walls of the same dimension divide three interior bands of public, performance and production spaces. Each band is then further partitioned into several subspaces, stacked on top of each other. Therefore we get 4 levels of a very clear spatial matrix which is compact, energy efficient, flexible and adaptable at the same time.
The modular hall, frontal hall, and a public rehearsal are arranged around a three level foyer which opens with ‘curtain folds’ to the esplanade. A large glass wall and restaurant terrace face towards the east side, giving a view to the esplanade.
The two sides of the building open and express activities and a theater production to the cityscape through entirely glazed offices and workshops. From one side one can observe a people’s gathering in the foyer, on the other side, a production of different stage sets in the workshops.
4 wall-curtains, two exterior and two exterior extend along the length of the building. Their in-between distance diminishes from the esplanade to the delivery road on the northern side, optically narrowing the building seen from the esplanade, a rhythm of facades which provides a cinematic effect of unveiling and closing.