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The return of light and space to the Docorno Theatre

The return of light and space to the Docorno Theatre

The Ducourneau Theater is in the midst of renovating its woodwork under the auspices of Historic Monuments and Drac. With great discoveries.

The south facade of the Ducourneau Theater in Agen is shape-shifting and splendid. All aluminum joinery has been restored, as well as artistic ironwork on the upper pedestal. The doors were replaced by guitars as handles.

From the rotunda, the visitor is now amazed by a 180-degree panoramic view with a beautiful view of one of the ornate facades of the museum. The first phase of work, which is being managed by the architectural firm Stefan Thoen, began in June 2021. The second phase is in progress.

Umbrella with 180 degree vision

The southern facade and the western and eastern side facades are concerned, as craftsmen continue to remove the 50 windows by masking the openings with wood paneling, explains Sylvie Lunati Perrin, collaborator of the chief architect of Historic Monuments.

The wooden windows in the ticket office and adjacent buildings have also been restored. Craftsman firms Arribot Arom de Brax aluminum joinery and Breton Chapuis wood parts company have been appointed to carry out this work, funded thanks to a recovery plan supported by DRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the region. Total turnover: 745 thousand euros.

The windows provide better thermal coefficient, but on fine days with sweltering southern exposure, Stephanie Waldt, who directs the visit, wonders if she can install blinds or blinds without breaking the lines of this upscale glass roof that overlooks the building’s main entrance. Docorno Theatre. So it is a beautiful light that streams into the rotunda, amplifying the murals and frescoes of the dome executed by Abel Pouille. Built in 1908, this theater is included in the Additional Inventory of Historic Monuments. These renovations are accompanied by paint, plastering and electrical work. The interior walls and ceilings of the corridors on the first and second floors have been painted and will be followed by other sections of the walls on the old bar and bedroom sides to coordinate circulation corridors and accentuate the frescoes. The carpet will be changed in 2023 with Drac judging, as well as new banners being put up “because the audience gets a little lost in the place,” assures the director. Small chaise lounges with contemporary lines were installed in the reception and in the rotunda: “We wanted to modernize the spaces, while maintaining the spirit and character of the place, emphasizes Stephanie Waldt. The idea is to provide a vertical circulation up to the third floor that houses a small space for exhibitions, we want the users Investing the stage during the day in these little rooms, breaking the image of a place we frequented only in the evening. Make it a place of life, by imagining, why not, tables outside in the summer in the front yard.”

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From loggias to hidden artwork

This beautiful find is due to the presence of two loggias (at the ends of the rotunda) that were hitherto closed to the public and now accessible through large openings. One contained painted walls narrating Moliere’s coronation and a scene from the Commedia dell’arte signed by Didier Tourney, a local painter. “It was a storage space until then,” says the director. Like an echo on the other loggia, Etienne Mondino painted it. A group of photographic programs after the plum picking, the grape harvest, and the poet Jasmine, executed by Abel Bouyer. The highlight of these masterpieces is the return of the statue of La Charmeuse aux Serpents as well. Loggias will be customized for the reflection of the audience. “We’re giving back to our Agena this free movement.”