Topic: Geneva

A hydro-electric power plant in Geneva/Switzerland converted into a venue: The Bâtiment des Forces Motrices

Industrial yet theatrical: The Bâtiment des Forces Motrices in Geneva


How very fortunate a coincidence that, in 1994, the management of Geneva’s Grand Théâtre were looking for an alternative venue to which to outsource their cultural performances set for the 1997/1998 season: Modernisation of their theatre was imminent and a worthy substitute location desperately needed. A magnificent structure, listed since the late 1980s and dramatically squatting above the River Rhône, seemed the ideal candidate: The Bâtiment des Forces Motrices, originally built by the engineer and politician Théodore Turrettini for industrial purposes in the outgoing 19th century, served as Geneva’s first hydro-electric power plant. It had provided the city with water and electricity until its decommission in the 1960s and had been lying dormant since.

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