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Destinations · Europe · france · Paris · Museums and galleries · Museums

La Gaite Lyrique

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

The centre for digital art and culture La Gaîté Lyrique definitely holds a place among the French capital's most ambitious and impressive art projects of the recent years. It is housed in a historical 1862 building that used to be a playhouse. At the time, its 1800-seat auditorium was one of the grandest Italian-style theatre halls in Paris and housed guest performances of Ballets Russes during its 1920s legendary tour. The following decades, however, proved somewhat stormy for the building: the 1970s saw it house a circus college (including specially built stalls for elephants); during the 1980s, there was an unfortunate attempt to set up a theme park which ceased its existence soon afterwards, although not before causing certain damage to the historical architecture.

With the opening of La Gaîté centre for digital art and culture, this venue - once so unique in the cultural life of Paris - has regained its former glory. Today it is a creative laboratory in the historical premises of which the new encounters the old; new ideas are born and the existing ones acquire new dimensions. The new centre is dedicated for all possible genres of digital culture: production of live-action and animation films; theatre; dance; visual arts; design; graphic design; architecture; music; games; fashion, etc.
The centre was designed by the French architect Manuelle Gautrand who defines her concept as 'box within a box', something similar to a Russian matryoshka doll where each of the numerous dolls exist on their own and yet cannot be separated from the thing in its entirety. The halls, measuring 9500 square metres in all, housed in three floors of the building, live their own separate lives while existing in an incessant interplay and, with the help of projections, installations and sound, constantly sustaining a state of light elation in the minds of the visitors - as if they had found themselves in the epicentre of some sort of creative forge, equipped with a perpetual motion machine.
While the façade, entrance and lobby of the building were restored according to the historical sketches, the ground floor hosts a video game space with an adjoining book store-cum-library carrying all the latest publications dedicated to the latest technologies, alongside art and design books. The top floor is home to a grand multi-medial studio and a bar which is equipped with nine state-of-the-art screens while its ceiling has fully retained its historical splendour. Do check out the Amusement concept store next door to the new centre: the perfect place for all the latest gadget and technology freaks.

3-bis Rue Papin
75003 Paris

www.gaite-lyrique.net

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