In 2000 the architect Bernard Tschumi won a competition to design and construct an 8000 seat auditorium in response to a brief from the local government authorities for a “Zenith” type concert hall in Petit Quevilly, Rouen.
The building was designed to optimise the visibility for the audience as well as using robust materials and a structural concept to ensure the longevity of the building and minimise its impact on the environment. The acoustic qualties of the project were a major design factor, both in terms of the atmospheric effect inside the auditorium but also in regards to isolating noise levels to the outside as the building is close to a residential area.
An important element in all Bernard Tschumi’s architecture is his attention to the construction materials and how they are put together. Concrete is used in the interior of the auditorium with great success because of the high quality of the detailing in its construction. This is equally apparent in the use of steel for the external envelope. Alex Reid, as an independent consultant, assisted Bernard Tschumi’s office in the architectural details and with following the site works throughout the project until completion. He brought to the construction team his vast experience in this area having previously worked on projects of the same scale both with Tschumi on the Architecture School in the east of Paris and also with Norman Foster Associates on Stansted Airport and a multimedia library in Nimes.