Le Baillet Cultural Centre   Drancy, France

Le Baillet is a new district in Drancy, a commune in the north east suburbs of Paris in the Seine-Saint-Denis department. A former railway wasteland located long the Avenue Marceau, the site selected for this public design competition, has ambitions to become the cultural centre for eastern Paris.

Grimshaw’s design proposed for the cultural centre, focuses on the connection the space has to the city and its immediate context - located opposite the media library. The main entrance foyer personifies this with its large open space, accommodating visitors to the centre as well a space for performances. Full height glazing floods the foyer with light and allows the internal space to connect to the external public space and garden adjacent to the site.

From the foyer the theatre, cinema and performance space can be accessed easily along with the ancillary functions of the centre including the ticket office and café. This simplified vertical circulation creates an intuitive and welcoming space to performers and visitors alike.

The design also embraces the environmental and social ambitions of the cultural centre and Le Baillet. Meeting targets on embodied carbon, the footprint of the whole site is minimised and balanced; low-carbon concrete meets the structural and acoustic requirements of the halls and theatre; and the timber is designed to support the lightweight roof of the main hall. Bringing the two contrasting materials together also enhances the pivotal role the cultural centre has as a welcoming and engaging destination for the town and region.

The winner of this public design competition was announced in 2021.

Drancy, France

Project Type
Culture and Exhibition Halls →

Paris Terre d’Envol

7 474m² (GFA)