UNStudio win competition for EuropaCity's indoor/outdoor cinema complex

This limited user experience of the cinema as a venue led to the key concept that drove our design: the desire to create a building that in its totality offers a much more extensive shared experience
– Ben van Berkel, UNStudio founder

One of the largest ongoing leisure developments on the planet, EuropaCity in Paris, will feature a dramatic indoor/outdoor cinema embedded into the landscape, courtesy of a competition-winning design by UNStudio.

The Dutch practice have been selected as the architects to realise the Centre Culturel Dédié Au 7è Art – one of eight key buildings within the wider EuropaCity masterplan created by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).

Described by UNStudio as “a new type of cinema”, the building is designed as both a public space and a cultural laboratory – complete with a film studio and archive – “rather than a mere container for a ‘black box’ audience experience.”

Three intertwined volumes, clad with weathered steel, will emerge from the ground, topped by a sloping green carpet integrated with the surrounding landscape. These rooftop spaces will provide outdoor screening areas, restaurants and cafes, and offer 360-degree views and vantage points towards the rest of EuropaCity and the skyline of Paris.

Upon entering the building visitors will be first led in under the lowest part of the sloping roofscape and into a large central lobby, formed at the point where the three separate sections converge. From here, they will be able to access the cinema halls, while also catching a glimpse of the movie-making process on the level below, where training and production studios are to be located. Other routes will lead to the roof and terraces.

According to the design team, the concept will embrace BIG’s ‘Rolling Hills’ concept for the masterplan, “yet expresses its own strong and recognisable identity within this context”

Speaking about their approach, studio founder Ben Van Berkel said: “Cinemas are the perfect example of concealed architecture. It is the one type of building that becomes invisible once you step inside it. You spend up to two hours in a darkened room, immersed in the alternative space and time of the imagination…and then you leave.

“This limited user experience of the cinema as a venue led to the key concept that drove our design: the desire to create a building that in its totality offers a much more extensive shared experience.”

Competitions will now be held for the seven other key cultural buildings, including a concert hall, hotels, a contemporary circus and an exhibition hall.

When completed, EuropaCity will include a selection of hotels, restaurants, theme parks, cultural sites, urban farmland, shopping centres and sports facilities. The €3.1bn (US$3.5bn, £2.4bn) project has received major investment from Immochan France and Wanda, China’s largest private property developer. It will be located on the Triangle de Gonesse, Greater Paris, in a public development operated by Grand Paris Aménagement,

Bjarke Ingels has described the project as a “Paris 2.0 that sets a new standard for what a city can be,” with a lively urban fabric that combines radically different streetscapes where some roofscapes kiss the ground, others are tall and invaded by greenery.

UNStudio  EuropaCity  Paris  Centre Culturel Dédié Au 7è Art  France  Bjarke Ingels 
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One of the largest ongoing leisure developments on the planet, EuropaCity in Paris, will feature a dramatic indoor/outdoor cinema embedded into the landscape, courtesy of a competition-winning design by UNStudio. The Dutch practice have been selected as the architects to realise the Centre Culturel Dédié Au 7è Art – one of eight key buildings within the wider EuropaCity masterplan created by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Described by UNStudio as “a
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The Dutch practice have been selected as the architects to realise the Centre Culturel Dédié Au 7è Art – one of eight key buildings within the wider EuropaCity masterplan / Flying Architecture
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Company profile: Alliance Leisure
The company’s core business is the provision of facility development and support for local authorities, educational establishments and leisure trusts that want to improve or expand the leisure products and services they offer.
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