Étoile Lilas cinema, Paris
Vertical, in dialogue with its surroundings, the Étoile Lilas is designed as a city cinema rather than the type of multiplex found in shopping malls on the edge of towns. We chose to split the building into two volumes (cinema and retail) to make the public forecourt indispensible for going from one volume to the other. To the north, a tall, compact volume in the continuity of the high-rise buildings along the Avenue de la Porte des Lilas. To the south, a lower volume that opens out views, in relation to the scale of the neighbouring Cirque Électrique cabaret building.
An entrance hall extends the forecourt beneath the volume of the cinemas. The three upper cinemas are suspended above this Piranesian space, stacked in order of increasing capacity, like an inverted pyramid, in order to make room for a decreasing space for circulation. Four further screens are tucked away in the lower levels in order to free up as much of the piazza level for the ticket hall and retail. The regulatory openings and circulation spaces have been multiplied to give a multitude of different access routes and exits, each broken down into panoramic sequences with a variety of views both near and far across the city.