Geneva, Grand Theater, Switzerland

Geneva, Grand Theater, Switzerland

The current partial renovation project of the Geneva Grand Theater, or Opera, blends a restoration based on ‘soft interventions’ along the lines of redecorating, and substantial transformations aiming to improve the use of the volumes, to bring technical installations into compliance and to create an extension in the basement, allowing for more rehearsal space.

The lighting design brings not only cohesion, but also a unique manifestation in this building that bears the mark of different time periods. Light is thought in such a way as to highlight contours, shapes, and to reveal materiality.

The restoration of the ceiling of the main hall has been the core of the intervention. Lighting has been the only renovated element, through the revamping of 1,000 incandescent light sources that would come to life on performance nights.

The ceiling is a piece by Janek Stryienski from the 60’s, composed of aluminum sheets enhanced with golden leaves and pierced with a thousand stars in Murano glass. The challenge was to get the lighting as well as a spiral-shaped, circular luminous animation of lighting points evoking a constellation, back in function. All lighting points are 2,200K COB LEDs, entirely controllable from 0 to 100% through a DMX protocol.


Lighting design: Concepto in collaboration with Hi Lighting for the main hall
Project management: Lead Architecture Bureau March+Linea architecture, Operations Architecture BERIC, Technical consulting SRGingénierie
Contracting owner: City of Geneva, Constructed Heritage Office
Completion: 2018 (public opening January 2019)
Total floor plate area: 20,810 m²

Photo credit : Fabien BERGERAT, Carole PARODI, Nicole ZERMATTE et Concepto