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Heritage site

8, place Niemeyer

Architect : Oscar Niemeyer

  • 800 seats Theater
  • 5000 m2 Library
Tour 1

For five whole months, Le Volcan, the real starting point of the A Summer in Le Havre experience, is set to rock to the beat of the celebrations. Inside and out on its terrace, reception areas have been set up by the curator Kitty Hartl and the architect Nethzer Torres to provide Le Havre residents and visitors with information on the event, the four Discovery Tours and the Calendar. There is also a welcoming café and the A Summer in Le Have store. This is a place where visitors can meet up and spend a few minutes... or hours! The design, commissioned to meet the place’s new usages, blends in ideally with the curves and shapes of Niemeyer architecture. 

We owe this unidentified architectural object to Oscar Niemeyer, the architect that built Brasilia, his country’s capital, from scratch. An unidentified object since, other than its strangeness, the building required space-age expertise to erect it. In fact, to mold its complex shapes, with no visible seams, a computer program derived from a NASA calculation method was necessary.

Its sensual curves contrast strikingly with Auguste Perret’s right angles for which the city is renowned. Located after the Bassin du Commerce, on the site of the Grand-Théâtre destroyed by bombs in 1944, Le Volcan has two ‘craters’ that rise up from the forum-type square. The bases sit four meters below ground level and are reached by a set of ramps and steps. The ‘Grand Volcan’, the largest of the two craters, is now home to Le Havre’s 1,200-seater national theatre, while the ‘Petit Volcan’ contains a 5,000 m2 library. A must-see cultural landmark, inaugurated in 2015.

Photo © OTAH

Practical info

Heritage site

Le Volcan

8, place Niemeyer
Inaugurated in 1982

8, place Niemeyer
76600 Le Havre

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