Holcim France: Theater in a quarry.

Project description
The old quarry of Montceaux-Ragny was rehabilitated into a theatre as part of Holcim
France sustainability efforts. The small community in France’s Burgundy region can now
enjoy open air plays, concerts and films in this extraordinary location.

One clear objective for Holcim France in helping turn the local quarry into a cultural
hotspot was to engage with stakeholders as a serious partner, respectful of the local
population and environment.

The quarry was closed in the 1930s due to noise, vibration and dust. As the population
remained against the renewal of operations, the site was used for waste disposal. It is in
this context that Holcim France acquired the quarry in 1999, keen to find a way to
rekindle the people’s support. As part of its commitment to safety and environmental
protection, Holcim France reduced vibrations from mining blasts and installed
seismographs close to houses.

As part of its commitment to stakeholder engagement, the company entered in dialogue
with the regional professional association and the local authorities, from which emerged
the idea to rehabilitate the old quarry as a theater. The site was rid of waste and
cleaned, divulging the original structure which inspired the design and construction of the
cultural space. It is now fully operational and equipped with 430 seats on 14 rows, and a
comprehensive lighting system.

This collaboration between Holcim France and local stakeholders has brought many
positive outcomes:

  • The quality of life of local residents has been enhanced with a venue for cultural activities
  • Local economic activity is stimulated as theater companies now have a space to run their shows before crowds of spectators
  • Local workers have been given the opportunity to learn new skills as part of a social reinsertion project
  • Holcim France employees have experimented the benefit of engaging in constructive stakeholder dialogues
  • The reputation and use of the quarry has been renewed, to everyone’s benefit