Exhibition Hall

Exhibition Hall in Paris, France by Architecture Studio, 1998

Often with an exhibition hall commission the architect's job is limited to creating simple, column-free spaces, that allow for large exhibits within neutral surroundings, and clad the exterior in an interesting manner. Architecture Studio's design of an Exhibition Hall in North-Paris, France is not an exception, but its treatment of interior and exterior surfaces sets it apart from its counterparts.

The architects developed their design from the exhibition hall's intention to feature innovative products under the conditions more "tempting" than the typical exhibition hall. With a focus on innovation the use of new materials and new technologies informs the expression of the facade. The undulating, copper-clad facade appears softer than the actual material, resembling a curtain or, along the lines of the architects' intentions, a vertical landscape. Whatever the connotation the image of the facade is strong and memorable, ideal for the client who wants to tempt people inside.

The bi-directional undulations of the facade appeal to the senses but also indicate the various entries and loading access on the main elevation, as the metal "curtain" rises at these locations. Therefore the facade acts like signage, or a map, in addition to its practical (thermal) and aesthetic roles.

Inside the column-free space uses lighting to focus attention on the floor and the exhibits on display, as well as relating to the exterior with the undulating line between light and dark on the wall. Color is used, with the bright red doors, to signal access back outside. Overall the building uses a limited palette of material, light and color to separate itself from other exhibition halls and provide an environment tempting to the industry and the public alike.