Sunday, 13 March 2011

An amazing new venue just opened two minutes from the Great Apartment

This is something that I've been waiting for (in a state of excitement) for quite a few years now; a new venue for electronics arts, especially music, has opened just two minutes away from us (here). It's called La Gaîté Lyrique, and it's amazing.

Even the story behind the building - a mix of 19th century baroque and bang-up-to-date modern - is an extraordinary one. Originally a theatre from the late 1800s, over the course of 150 years it became a venue for operettas, then a circus school, was partially demolished in the 1980s to be an indoor amusement park (which closed a few days later), and was left abandoned for over a decade.

It's now a huge building (9,500m²) on seven levels (five of which are open to the public) dedicated to all things electronic, with one small and one large modular space (each panel of the floor can be raised independently), an auditorium with an HD projector and surround sound, a large exhibition space, a ressource centre, a videogames area, a shop (next door), a café, rehearsal spaces... For me, it's the most interesting project that Paris has seen for years.

Upcoming events include a festival with Berlin as its theme, a DJ Spooky weekend, and a host of concerts including Dan Deacon, Architecture in Helsinki and José González performing with the Göteborg String Theory.

Here are a few photos (I especially like the historic foyer that they've kept), and I've written an exhaustive article about the place on the HPRG blog here. Be sure to check it out!
Loads more photos, info and films in my article here.

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