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Theâtre Le Fanal
Theatre at the waterfront
Saint-Nazaire, France 2006
Invited competition, 2nd prize
GFA: 5.200 m²

Just a few walls of the once lively railway station of Saint-Nazaire next to the gigantic German submarine base from the 2nd war have remained. The new theatre wins this area back for the town and links it back to the harbor and the waterfront.

The design develops a strong identity based on the difficult geography of the site. The building lies like a ship on the old quay without touching the historical relicts. A new town-loggia marks the entrance. Corresponding to the narrow plot, the foyers are situated on the face side of the theatre hall. The main stairwell is located in the old station, the two floor foyer ends with a big window overlooking the harbor. The hall with 900 seats can be divided accommodating a smaller audience of 550 persons.

The huge cantilever protects the vestibule from Atlantic rain. The fan-shaped flight of steps generate an outdoor-arena for spontaneous performances – or simply “the town as theatre”.