The Madrid architects Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano, in collaboration with the Parisian firm Marin + Trottin Architectes, have finished first in the competition for the Cité du Théâtre in Paris, organized by the French Culture Ministry and three prestigious theater institutions – the Comédie-Française, the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique, and the Théâtre National de l’Odéon. The other two finalists were Fabre Speller (France) and Foster+Partners (Great Britain). To house the new complex, the Ateliers Berthier – built in 1895 by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Paris Opera – will be restored, respecting their structure and materiality. The winning scheme is conceived as a large elevated garden that establishes a visual continuity with Martin Luther King Park.
Presenting a green facade over 200 meters long, a new building unifies and embraces the ensemble, following the broken geometry of the 19th-century Thiers wall (19th century), the existing remains of which are to be preserved and restored. The 24,000-square-meter ‘City of the Theater’ will provide six modular performance halls for the Comédie-Française (seating 250 and 600), the Théâtre National de I'Odéon (250 and 500), and the Conservatoire National (100 and 200). Garnier Hall, a listed historical monument, will become a generous covered public space giving access to the areas shared by the three resident institutions: workshops, classrooms, didactic spaces, book and media library, and restaurants.