A historic monument with Art Deco aesthetic...
Since its creation, the Bourges House of Culture has been housed in the former Séraucourt Festival Hall built between 1936 and 1938.
The project to build, at the end of the promenade of Séraucourt, a privileged place of the social and cultural life of the inhabitants of Bourges, a large building intended to accommodate a hall of celebrations and a national school of music dates back to the aftermath of the war 14-18, but the decision was not finally made until 1935.
The project received its official legitimacy in 1936, the year of the Popular Front, by Léo Lagrange, Under Secretary of State for Leisure.
Marcel Pinon, the architect in charge of the project, worked in Bourges and in the department of Cher from the thirties to the sixties, especially in the field of school architecture.
His project is typical of the new architecture breaking with the eclectic tradition that survived until 1914.
The exterior architecture of the building with its art deco aesthetic is still that designed by Marcel Pinon. The construction is made of reinforced concrete coated with brick siding and punctuated by large vertical bays.
The decorations on the main façade, created by Berrichon artist François-Emile Popineau, illustrate the theme of music and dance. In the central frieze in the neo-Greek style, a couple of naked dancers evolves to the antique, framed by two dancers, with, on the right, a troupe of music-hall girls and, on the left, a squadron of little rats of the opera.Two bas-reliefs symbolize, on one side, classical music, and traditional music. The small bas-reliefs of the side facades, entrusted to the sculptor Louis Thébault, represent traditional and official music.
Work interrupted by the war did not resume until 1961. The only decisive structural change was to throw a concrete slab through the huge amphitheatre to create two rooms, one above the other, a large and a small theatre.
In 1963, the building housed a radically new institution: the House of Culture. The houses of culture are cultural institutions created in 1961, at the initiative of André Malraux, Minister of Cultural Affairs, with a view to democratizing culture. The Bourges House of Culture was inaugurated by the minister in 1964.
The House of Culture of Bourges was partially listed as a historical monument in 1994 (facades and roofs, staircase located in the courtyard of the music school, entrance hall)