National center for theatrical costume and design
MINISTRY OF CULTURE (FRANCE)
Architect: WILMOTTE & ASSOCIÉS
Associate architect: JACQUES BRUDIN
Structure: CHRISTIAN DE BAHERS
Building services: LOUIS CHOULET
Cost consultant: MARC VAREILLE
5 720 sqm
Rehabilitation of a barracks into exhibition rooms and a training and documentation centre for researchers. Construction of a storage building for costumes.
Launched in 1996 by the Ministry of Culture as a major regional project, the National center for theatrical costume and design was born of the desire to preserve part of the heritage collections of costumes from the Paris Opera, the Comedie Française and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (8,500 stage costumes and their accessories).
The architectural project concerns the rehabilitation of the main body of the Villars barracks and the construction of a new building which takes up the layout and volumetry of a destroyed wing. The central building is 93m long and 20m wide. It is characterised by the presence of three monumental staircases. On the ground floor, which formerly housed the stables, are the textile restoration rooms, which are dedicated to stage costumes and open to researchers, students and the public. The other rooms include the reception, public areas and a 100-seat auditorium. The first floor is devoted to exhibition spaces and the second floor contains offices and professional spaces (media library, workshops, documentation and reading centre). A building adjacent to the main building has been designed to house the costume storage area, where huge mobile and sliding cupboards can hold up to 10,000 pieces.