PARIS (FR) - If the urban renewal project in the Halles district at the heart of Paris, where work will begin at the end of 2009, remains controversial, the refurbishment of the Forum des Images, including the creation of the Bibliothèque du Cinéma François Truffaut (François Truffaut Cinema Library) in the Forum des Halles underground complex, has met with unanimous approval. This new temple to cinema is finally set to open its doors after work lasting almost three years and costing €7.6 million. Inaugurating the Rue du Cinéma (formerly known as the Grande Galerie), the Forum des Images and Bibliothèque du Cinéma François Truffaut are linked by a common theme created by the X-TU firm of architects in association with light designer Georges Berne and graphic artist Pierre di Sciullo.
The architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières worked with the concept of openness and unity in order to assert the architectural identity of the Forum des Images, which houses five cinema screens on different levels. The bold choice of pink combined with light grey and black creates a strong dynamic and contributes to the elegance and warmth of the interior spaces. The idea of the luminous ribbon of neon lights, with its changing patterns, nuances, intensity and colours, is a key element in the spatial layout, contributing to the fluidity of movement between the various spaces. This enables the public to move progressively and smoothly from daylight to the darkness of the cinema and vice-versa. In harmony with X-TU's design, visitors are guided by signage which features original typography created by Pierre di Sciullo. Fully transparent, the new facade makes the building immediately identifiable due to its high windows, which are reminiscent of a strip of film. Adjacent to the Forum des Images and sharing the same 70-meter-long facade, the Bibliothèque du Cinéma François Truffaut covers an area of 1200 m2.
The huge luminous ribbon continues here, like a shower of pixels from another universe. If cinema is a means of enlightening the world, this architectural project brings light to the cinema. (Sophie Roulet)