Circus and street arts venue

  • Building Type : Concert or conference hall, theater
  • Construction Year : 1995
  • Delivery year : 2022
  • Address 1 - street : Rue Watt 75013 PARIS, France
  • Climate zone : [Cfb] Marine Mild Winter, warm summer, no dry season.

  • Net Floor Area : 607 m2
  • Construction/refurbishment cost : 1 310 000 €
  • Number of Seat : 90 Seat
  • Cost/m2 : 2158.15 €/m2
  • Primary energy need
    145 kWhep/
    (Calculation method : RT existant )
Energy consumption
Economical buildingBuilding
< 50A
51 à 90B
91 à 150C
151 à 230D
231 à 330E
331 à 450F
> 450G
Energy-intensive building

At the heart of the Masséna Chevaleret district and the student life of Paris Diderot University, the project is a place dedicated to the practice of circus and street arts, for use by the general public and professional companies. The project was commissioned by the City of Paris, the developer SEMAPA had the delegated project management and 2R2C (cooperative of circus and street arts), future user, represented the management of use. Thus, as an architect we were in dialogue with a plural project management, working as closely as possible to the constraints, expectations and needs of each one!

The site is an existing volume, closed covered, called "alveoli", located under the rue Domon Duquet and presenting a single facade on the street, rue Watt. The City of Paris asked us to register the project independently of the volumes made available. The project then responded to this with an independent, careful, and removable architecture. The construction method is a metallo-textile structure: effective, removable and aesthetic response; promising magic and refinement to match the creations offered by circus and street companies and artists.

In response to user needs, two activity rooms have been created: the creation room and the transmission room. Equipped with technical grills supporting apparatus, dual-flow air treatment, these rooms are also equipped with large multi-role stretched fabrics: backlit - in a naturally dimly lit place - and sound absorbent.

The rooms are bordered by the public reception areas (entrance, circulation, foyer, toilets), by the company areas (foyer / conviviality room, changing rooms, dressing rooms, showers), and by the staff areas with the administration and logistics (offices, workshops, storage, technical rooms). On the rue Watt facade, natural light and views of the city are given to the office spaces. But views from the street towards the 2 activity rooms are also preserved, giving passers-by an active and lively urban ground floor!

The flows between the spaces are simple. Because it is also the comfort and the safety of the users which must be ensured in an essential way since it is about a place-tools of work.

This project, by its very location - reusing vacant urban spaces - is a strong response to the challenges of the circular economy supported by the City of Paris (White Paper and Climate Plan City of Paris). This ambition was pursued throughout the design and execution of the work by our project management group, in order to offer an innovative and responsible place!

Design in circular economy: in the technical program, we were asked to propose solutions in the design phases, to plan works contracts by integrating the circular economy, to ultimately measure the quantitative and financial benefit.

We had already worked in the circular economy for the Fructose project, a base for artistic creation in Dunkirk in Hauts de France, with artists between 2011 and 2014, but in a dedicated, spontaneous, empirical way…! This time, we have structured our thinking, our methods and we have from the ESQ phase integrated reuse, recycling, but also biosourced materials and the potential fordismantling of structures.

On the one hand, we have chosen commercial materials from recycling (cellulose wadding insulation, and recycled cotton insulation), commercial materials that are part of recycling loops (polyester fabric) and biosourced materials ( wooden partitions and facings, natural paints).

On the other hand, concerning reuse, from the draft phase we looked for potential sources of reuse, identified the materials available and pointed them finely in plan. During the design period (AVP, PRO), SEMAPA collected the reused elements that we identified, mainly from its own worksites, and stored them near the site. During the consultation phase, with our design offices, we made sure that the circular economy was present in the graphic documents as well as in the written documents (DPGF, CCTP, RC) inviting candidate companies to take note of it! During the site preparation phase (EXE), the re-use gave rise to many exchanges (plans, calculation notes, mutual agreements on adaptation details)!

Resulting today in a place full of soul, where the circular economy and reuse are arranged with pointillism, playing with our gaze between visible and invisible!

Building users opinion

Mail from 2R2C for Citymix following the inauguration of 04/13/23: "It was a very nice inauguration and the feedback on the building is unanimous, the artists are happy to work there. Yesterday was a very nice evening, I I think you've already had some feedback. Again, on behalf of the whole team, I want to thank you."

If you had to do it again?

  • We would keep the architectural bias! That is to say the distribution of uses and flows in such a constrained place, as well as the choice of metallo-textile architecture, which provides a technical and aesthetic response.
  • Reuse: we were unable to recover all of the materials that we had listed and integrated following site visits. This is linked to the temporality of the City of Paris construction sites and to the management of the service which put us in contact with the construction sites. With SEMAPA, we were able to collect many other materials and equipment on the sites over which SEMAPA had control. This allowed us to bring together before the consultation all the re-use to be posed.

Our expertise indicates that it is necessary to collect, upstream, list and carefully store all reuse. The materials may thus, during the consultation phase of the companies, be presented to the candidate companies; then from the start of the preparation of the site to be received in the state and with our presence, before being transported to the workshop for adaptation according to the needs. It is important to avoid asking the contractors to buy reused materials, risking a great loss of time, numerous misunderstandings and the impossibility for the Moa and the Moe to check the condition of the elements received before adaptation or installation, which which may be subject to request for additional value for loss, breakage or non-adaptability of the material.

See more details about this project

Photo credit

Charles Delcourt Photographe and Citymix Architecture


    SEMAPA Maitrise d'ouvrage déléguée // Ville de Paris, Direction des Affaires Culturelles : Maitrise d'ouvrage gestionnaire et propriétaire

    M. Benoit Ernek, bernek[a]

Construction Manager


    Other consultancy agency


    Yves Jacquet, y-jacquet[a]

    Metallo-textile structures mission

Contracting method

Other methods

Type of market


Other type of market

Market with Adapted Procedure

Allocation of works contracts

Separate batches

Energy consumption

  • 145,00 kWhep/
  • RT existant

    Although the building was delivered in May 2023, the dual-flow CTA is in the process of acceptance. Energy consumption has not been finalized to date. The final DPE is being drafted.

  • 450,00 kWhep/

Real final energy consumption

    145,00 kWhef/

Envelope performance

    - Large rooms: facade on rue Watt: projected cellulose wadding insulation. R = 3.7m².K/W
    - Small serving areas (foyer, dressing rooms, offices): 12mm wooden wall with 2-layer insulation and membrane positioned in 2/3-1/3: 145mm recycled cotton insulation R = 3, 7m².K/W + 50 mm recycled cotton insulation R = 1.25m².K/W

    - Exterior joinery: < 1.40 W/m².k

    Low floor:
    - Large rooms: insulation under paving on solid ground in expanded polystyrene 120mm R> 3.9m².K/W
    - Small serving areas (foyer, dressing rooms, offices): insulation on the underside of low wooden floors: recycled cotton insulation 145mm R = 3.7m².K/W

    Floor top:
    - Large rooms: existing reinforced concrete deck, preserved
    - Small servant areas (foyer, dressing rooms, offices): textile double skin type cover
    Interior face: 502 Ferrari prestressed fabric
    Exterior face: Stam DB 4800 Ferrari fabric


    • Others
    • Individual electric boiler
    • No cooling system
    • Double flow heat exchanger
    • No renewable energy systems

    The double flow unit regulates the heat input in the 2 main rooms (ceiling height 8m). The double flow is equipped with thermal batteries to replace a boiler-type system. Auxiliary radiators, resulting from re-use, are located in the serving areas, which are closed and highly insulated (foyer, dressing rooms, offices).

    Reusing an urban wasteland, a volume under roads, the production of renewable energy was not possible (solar panels for example). Nevertheless, the City of Paris has a preferential framework agreement with Enercoop, a renewable energy production cooperative, contract that is used here, in the case of the rue Watt project.

Construction and exploitation costs

  • 1 310 000

Circular economy strategy

    Sketch study

    • Maximization of the number of impacted batches
    • Maximization of quantities on targeted products
    • Maximization of the carbon gain

    Integration of the reuse specifically in the special technical specifications of the concerned batches


    At the time of consultation:
    - Compulsory inspection of stored items;
    - Circular economy methodological note;
    - Specific weighting criterion.

    In the Works / DET phase:
    - Statement of acceptance of supports between company, Moa, Moe;
    - In the preparatory phase: the companies provided EXE plans and calculation notes;
    - In OPR phase: meticulous follow-up of structures resulting from reuse.


Reuse : same function or different function



    • On site, on a dedicated area in a covered location
    • On site, on a dedicated area in a covered location



    No specific mission. The reuse elements were analyzed as part of its L + LP + SEI + TH + HAND + F + LE + AV + ATTHAND-2HAND, STI missions.


    Assureur de l'architecte : MAF, Assureur du Moa : MMA


Environmental assessment

    The reuse operation saved the equivalent of:

    • 204,187 kilometers traveled by a small car, i.e. 232 Paris-Nice journeys
    • 4154 rectangular bathtubs filled with water
    • 66 years of household waste from a Frenchman


    Categories CO2 avoided (kg) Water consumption avoided (m3) Waste avoided (kg)
    Outdoor Facilities 0 0 0
    Landscaping / Locksmithing - Metalwork 0 0 0
    framework 4709.835 24.778165 105.092031
    Partitions 0 0
    Blanket 0 0 0
    Roofing / Outdoor facilities 0 0 0
    Lightings 6083.576201 49.77611538 7541.885795
    Security lights 0 0 0
    HVAC equipment 0 0 0
    Electrical equipment 48.2938 1384.56
    facades 2258.654964 300.5826654 574.0938399
    False ceilings 0 0 0
    Raised floors 0 0 0
    False ceilings 0 0 0
    Big work 0 0 0
    Sanitation facilities 6.060476464 442.6867998
    Insulation -2968.076307 38.67397474 10481.77255
    Exterior carpentry 6816.6 67.3848 5054.954478
    Interior joinery 582.8227728 7.051598074 303.5411428
    Furniture 2738.330174 50.43304257 4584.041199
    Paint 0 0 0
    Plumbing 2.0361 399.9327276
    floor coverings 0 0 0
    Floor or wall coverings 0 0 0
    Wall coverings 0 0 0
    building security 0 0 0
    Locksmithing - metalwork 4021.506988 28.09145565 1981.453799
    VRD 0 0
      CO2 avoided (kg) Water consumption avoided (m3) Waste avoided (kg)
    TOTAL 25523,34364 623.1621933 32854.01436

    The Watt project, a circular economy laboratory

    Article 70 of the energy transition law specifies that the transition to a circular economy aims to:

    • Go beyond the linear economic model of extracting, manufacturing, consuming and throwing away by calling for sober and responsible consumption of natural resources and primary raw materials
    • To the prevention of waste production, in particular by the reuse of products, and, according to the hierarchy of waste treatment methods,
    • To reuse, recycling or, failing that, recovery of waste.

    In the Rue Watt project, the global circular economy approach implemented allows an overall saving in greenhouse gas emissions of 33%, or approximately 63 Teq CO2 over a lifespan of 50 years. Because here, the circular economy is:

    1. Reuse:
    Benefit provided by reused materials and products:

    • Emissions Teq CO2 “Conventional” project 183 Teq CO2
    • Emissions Teq CO2 avoided 55 Teq CO2
    • Percentage of greenhouse gas reduction: 30.00% excluding recovered "hull".

    2. The valorization of an urban neglect:
    Gain brought by the valuation of an urban neglected:
    The total wall surface is estimated at approximately 1050 m². Considering an equivalent concrete block construction, the gain on greenhouse gas emissions is 6.93 Teq CO2 (CO2 emission of 13.2 kg eq CO2/m² of wall over a period of 100 years according to the FDES concrete - laying with a thick joint - from CERIB).

    3. Recycling:
    Benefit provided by recycling:

    Among the materials from circular economy sectors, the project uses a large quantity of recycled textile-type insulation (Relais Metisse® insulation). In comparison with mineral wool* type insulation, the gain in CO2 emissions is 1.51 kg eqCO2/m². The saving on greenhouse gas emissions thanks to the use of Metisse® type insulation is approximately 1.7 Teq Co2. It is also necessary to plan for the future recycling of the elements implemented in the project: thus, we have favored a metal structure and composite architectural fabrics that can be recycled with the Texyloop sector.

Economic assessment

  • 177 000
  • Yes

    • Others

    Deposited on the 2 contractor's own construction sites: City of Paris and SEMAPA. Logistics, via purchase order companies.

    • No project management assistance (see previous question). We carried out all the re-employment services by ourselves on the fees of project management.
    • Total amount of work: €1,312,000 excluding tax.
    • In addition to reuse, we have also worked with recycled materials (recycled cellulose wadding insulation, and recycled cotton for acoustic insulating surfaces), with easily removable materials (wooden partitions with wooden frames and panels) and as part of recyclability loops (stretched fabrics/texyloop). This represents an additional amount for reuse of: €135,648 excluding VAT.
    • In addition, the metal structures used to create the floors are designed as removable, reversible, as well as their covers and certain canvas facades which are removable. This set is to be considered in the circular economy of the project for an additional amount of removable cover is €245,000 excluding tax.
    • Please note, however, the amounts do not include the logistics amounts of companies with purchase orders that have dismantled on SEMAPA sites.

    We believe that the amounts linked to the circular economy do not represent economic advantages for the contracting authority. They rather represent a partnership approach (between the project owner, the architect, the company, the future user of the premises) conscientious and neat of consumption. An alternative.



    Nowadays :

    • Communication in the form of a conference with the CD2E (Eco-materials Development Center, in the Hauts de France Region) and the MEL (European Metropolis of Lille) as part of the "Club Réemploi MEL-CD2" workshops in April 2023. see attached ppt which now allows us to introduce ourselves to all: *
    • Publication in preparation on the Opalis platform, following authorization received by Rotor and Bellastosk. A complete platform aimed at Moa, architects, companies, individuals and presenting very beautiful projects for reuse.
    • Social networks and story on the Instagram page of Citymix Architecture.

    We now wish to make this project better known, our history in the field of reuse and our feedback which can certainly contribute to the development of a common expertise.


Social economy

    The project did not mobilize a social and solidarity economy structure. Nevertheless, hours of insertion were requested by the Client. Here is the breakdown: 831 hours for all the lots, corresponding to 5% of the total amount of the contracts.

    Details of hours:

    • LOT 01: Structural work, tiling, projected insulation: 194h
    • LOT02: Metal frame - Locksmithing - Stretched canvas: 238h
    • LOT 03A: Plastering: 26h
    • LOT 03B: Wooden frames - Wooden interior joinery - Furniture: 131h
    • LOT 04: Exterior joinery in steel and interior in aluminum: 32 hours
    • LOT 5: Paintings: 9 p.m.
    • Batch 6: Elevators: 24h
    • LOT 07: Heating Ventilation: 97h
    • LOT 08: Electricity: 68h

Circular design

    Valorization of an urban neglect:

    The project is part of an existing volume, closed covered, under the rue Alice Domont and Léonie Duquet. In Paris, each void, each abandoned, each "alveolus" can become an opportunity to house uses and initiatives. Here it is the project of 2R2C (Coopérative De Rue et de Cirque), which could be fitted out, and what is more, in the heart of a student and lively district: that of the University of Paris Diderot!

    Gain brought by the valuation of an urban neglected:

    The total wall surface is estimated at approximately 1050 m². Considering an equivalent concrete block construction, the gain on greenhouse gas emissions is 6.93 Teq CO2 (CO2 emission of 13.2 kg eq CO2/m² of wall over a period of 100 years according to the FDES concrete – laying with a thick joint - from CERIB).

    Change of uses

    In dialogue with the City of Paris, owner and manager, the spaces created should be able to evolve easily in their function in the future. If the volumes and heights under ceiling now lend themselves perfectly to the creation and teaching of the circus, the ERP has been classified category R, allowing it, easily, in the future, to put itself at the service of any field of education or training.

    Intensification of uses:

    The occupant 2R2C plans to rent the transmission room, which is planned to be made independent of the creation room and the rest of the premises, while having its entrance and service areas (foyer, kitchen, bathrooms, storage ).

    Energy exchange :

    Electricity subscription at Enercoop. 2R2C makes a point of smiling a subscription to ENERCOOP; green electricity supplier and local electricity producer

    "In addition to buying renewable electricity from more than 400 French producers, the Enercoop cooperatives are moving towards a model in which they develop, hold and operate their own production parks in order to strengthen their action in favor of a civic and local energy transition "

    Ecosystem and pooling of neighboring equipment:

    The neighborhood and the adjacent streets are home to many sports facilities. An agreement is being drafted between the place of circus arts and the neighboring gymnasiums for the pooling of spaces and sports equipment.

    Removable building:

    The project is organized around two high rooms (8m under ceiling) allowing the practice of circus arts and shows. The facings of these rooms are deliberately kept in raw concrete facing, only the technical devices complete these volumes (technical grill, backlit acoustic fabrics, ventilation ducts). A saving of materials.

    The other, smaller functions (foyer, dressing rooms, toilets, offices, storage, workshops) are arranged on the outskirts of these rooms, in shelving structures made of metal frames and stretched canvas. The metal structures can be unbolted, ensuring easy dismantling. The stretched fabrics are removable, allowing constant visual access for the control of the works under the road, and there also an easy dismantling.

    Mutable building:

    As said above, the conservation of large volumes and the organization of the spaces used on the periphery will make it easy to envisage new future functions.

    Biobased materials:

    Wood: Wood is deliberately widely present in the Watt project and in particular in the small serving spaces (foyer, dressing rooms, offices, toilets): in partitions (wooden frame and maritime pine plywood facing), in floors (wooden parquet, also maritime pine plywood, Tebopin) for shelving and furnishings. It's a material we use in every one of our architectural projects, whether it's lumber or finish wood. Beyond its environmental balance, wood also has 2 appreciable advantages: visual comfort and ease of appropriation for the occupant (hangings, additions or dismantling over time).

    All paints used: mineral paints . Mineral paints make a very important contribution to the quality of indoor air in premises. Their exceptional permeability to water vapor allows the walls to breathe freely without the formation of condensation water. The absence of synthetic resins and their alkaline pH prevents the development of fungi and mold in damp rooms. The raw materials used for the manufacture of mineral paints are completely natural. Mineral silicate paints are formulated in aqueous phase; no solvent or co-solvent is used in the composition of the products. Mineral paint is anti-allergenic; it does not emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) harmful to health, neither during application nor after drying. Thanks to their natural incombustibility properties (M0 on M0 support), mineral paints do not burn and do not give off toxic fumes in the event of a fire.

    Natural oils for the protection of wood and soil: vegetable oils, based on linseed oil, VOC-free. Not harmful to installation and use.

    Recycled materials :

    • Métisse insulation: used in the wooden partitions and as sound absorber behind the stretched canvases, in the two large rooms. Le Métisse is an insulation made from recycled cotton (clothing, household linen), collected and reconditioned by Emmaüs Le Relais, a cooperative integration company, in the Hauts de France.
    • Cellulose wadding insulation: used on the interior facade along Watt Street, which we have treated with recycled insulation and projected to reach great heights (8m). Here it is recycled paper and cardboard that lend themselves to the projection.
    • Fabrics in the Texyloop cycle: the stretched fabrics, from the imagination of the circus and the capitals, were chosen from Ferrari textiles, fabrics with which our ASTEO design office has designed, in reverse double curvature, many circuses and schools of circuses (Cirque du Soleil, Fratellini Academy, etc.). While it is true that these fabrics are made of polyester, here the supplier company makes a real effort to recycle its products, at the end of their life, with the Texyloop circuit.

Additional information (PDF documents)

Reasons for participating in the competition(s)

We present the Place of circus and street arts, in Paris, a small cultural facility (600m²), recently delivered and already rich in meaning and attention! Because there we find:

  • The circular economy: materials from reuse, recycling and biosourced materials.
  • An architecture workshop approach, already underway for several years and which has been structured over time and over the projects.
  • A team approach! Architects, design offices, project management but also companies!
  • A set of pillars of the circular economy achieved, including the strongest: responsible consumption of space and soil, extending the life of materials, eco-design, sustainable procurement, recycling.

Building candidate in the category

Conception circulaire

Conception circulaire

Trophées Bâtiments Circulaires 2023
 building adaptability eco-design ecomaterials end of life of the building reuse Circular economy

Share :
Author of the page
Ingrid Petit

Other case studies



Trophées Bâtiments Circulaires 2023