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.

Place du Maquis du Vercors, Paris 20
7-screen multiplex (1,500 seats), retail
SAS Cinelilas
Hardel Le Bihan Architects (Magali Lamoureux team leader), EVP (structure), Innovations (services), Casso (fire-safety, disabled access), Gandon (quantity surveyor)
Surface area
5 600 m² SHON (cinéma 4 800 m², commerces 800 m²)
8.5 M€ before fit-out
completion 2012
trial project for the new Certivea cinema rating for sustainable building
Architectural team
Project manager(s)
Magali Lamoureux
2012 Culture Facility Paris

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