"Our approach was to consider the place as an entity that needs a new impulse of development."
Although it is located near the centre of Mons, the riding school is isolated from the cultural heart of the city, which is concentrated around the market square.
It's a kind of "distant proximity", which could be resolved by creating a meaningful site.
It was the architects' wish to clearly define the theatre space of those who practise this art discipline and all the other people involved. The building of the riding school thus becomes the body of the theatre activity, from the stage to the technical spaces, including the offices.
The main body of the building was closed on itself. It did not reveal anything of its internal relationship with the street and the urban space in general. The project privileges the relationship between the users and the surroundings. The entrance hall and the volume of the room form the signifiers towards the outside, transcending the relationship between the theatre and the universe on the outside. The artistic intervention under the rows enhances the general expressiveness.
The building maintains the original expression of the riding school. The theatre is built in concrete for technical and spatial reasons, because it has to be perfectly impervious to noise and light. This "box" is wrapped in a light glass skin, so a spatial exchange is possible between the urban universe and the theatre. Again for reasons of attractiveness, signalling and transparency, the entrance hall is built in the same material.
By means of the play of volume, the link is created between old and new.
The construction of the main hall independently of the ancient building opens facilities for the use of the tool. The proposed implantation frees from the former riding school space, and permits the creation of new ones, where they are needed. Technical constraints also bring sense to the project.