Blending into the atmosphere…

Blending into the atmosphere…
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The Kinémax pavilion was designed in 1987 by Denis Laming and takes the shape of a gigantic quartz crystal, constituting the emblematic heart of the Futuroscope in Poitiers. It underwent major renovation in 2016 in the hands of architect David Joulin who totally reworked the interior spaces in such a way as to echo the building’s exterior envelope. He drew up plans for a three-dimensional facetted design with an integrated sound system and sophisticated lighting. Writing in the architectural review AMC in February 2017, Alice Dubet likens the resulting effect to ‘an interior landscape enveloping the spectator as soon as they enter the building, and doing so right through to the very walls and ceiling of the auditorium, augmenting the sense of total immersion in the film projection. The complex multi-facetted puzzle seems random in layout and 1500 m2 of black acoustic textile (Texaa) were used, with integrated services such as air conditioning, sound speakers and some 200 m of coloured led tube lighting.’

Élodie Boulogne managed this project in partnership with Éric Lienard for Texaa, and both became involved when the design was still on the drawing board. They suggested using Aeria with stretch and anchor Vibrasto 03. ‘We produced an initial prototype which the architect, project manager and economist all loved, first and foremost because our solution made it possible to play on alternating transparent and opaque effects, depending on whether the Aeria is used alone or with a felt backing, but also because of the quality of the finishing provided.’

A full scale prototype was then produced and fitted by a specialist business, Deloum. Work could commence and the whole fitting process lasted nearly two months. ‘An enormous amount of scaffolding had to be put up’, Élodie Boulogne explains, ‘because the ceiling in the auditorium is twenty metres high.’ Huge commitment was required on the part of all those involved in bringing the project to fruition – the architect was personally present every step of the way to define the precise geometric positioning of each facet of his design – and the result is on a par with the Futuroscope’s ambition to make the Kinémax one of Europe’s most impressive projection auditoriums.

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Aeria and Vibrasto 03 by Texaa®, in the ‘stretch and anchor’ version
Cinema, Poitiers, France, 2016
Project manager: David Joulin architect
Client: Conseil Général de la Vienne, Le Futuroscope