theatre in the garden
Imagine a theatre situated in the French landscape just outside the UNESCO World Heritage walls of the historic Avignon. The sun sets as the first crowd streams into the new theatre of the Festival d'Avignon where travelers and performers from around the world flock to see the annual gathering of performance theatre in the early summer months. A temporary canopy swoops overhead as you make your way to your circle of friends gathered tightly on the blanket you brought to sit and enjoy the performance on. The lights dim as the sun sets and the performance begins. This was the narrative that drove the project throughout its life.
Careful attention was paid to the master plan of the site as we were charged to design three different scale theatres. Laying a grid over the site topography, the project was inspired by the French gardens at Versailles, where nature is viewed as a tool of crafting space and experience. Integrating the natural beauty that currently lays barren on the massive site created an opportunity to employ varying landscape methods and the logic of the gabion cage to create architecture that minimally interrupts the beautiful French landscape and harkens back to the Palais du Papes that sits across the river.