104 rue dAubervilliers in the 19th arrondissement of Paris looks set to become the French capitals next cultural centre. The 104 has become the focus of a wide ranging artistic and cultural debate about just how its premises should be used in the future, and by whom.
A listed building and former home to the municipal undertakers, 104 is also an immense monument to industrial architecture. The fact that it is a listed building has meant that its transformation is currently being hotly debated not only in Paris but also in the national media throughout France.
Some say it should retain its original use and be used for genuine production or at least house something industrial and not just a gallery. It looks, however, as though the 104 with its 25,000 sqm of floor space will, as of 2008, start to play host to street performers, as well as providing open rehearsal spaces and temporary residences for choreographers, set designers and sculptors, all of whom need large spaces in which to work.
It seems certain that the 104 will become a new cultural village, but the form that it will take is still very much open to debate.