The project is centred on a 2,400-seat concert hall and includes an educational wing aimed at reaching out to a broad spectrum of the public. The project submitted by Ateliers Jean Nouvel was chosen by an international design competition in 2007. Sited in a park that already has a cultural focus, in an up-and-coming district on the northeast edge of Paris, and clearly visible from the outer suburbs of the city, the innovative architectural design of the complex will make a strong statement.
The acoustics of the concert hall itself will meet the most demanding international standards. To design these acoustics, Jean Nouvel has joined forces with Harold Marshall and is working in consultation with Yasuhisa Toyota. The design moves away from the classic “shoebox” formation in which audiences sit directly in front of the musicians, in favour of engaging the audience further with the performers as the seating is arranged all the way around the stage.
Designed principally to host major symphony orchestras – with the Orchestre de Paris as the resident orchestra – the Philharmonie de Paris will also promote other forms of musical expression such as jazz and world music. Very much an orchestral centre, promoting musical education and culture, a variety of daytime courses in music will be offered to young people and adults alike.
The building, covering an area of approximately 20,000 square metres, will comprise – in addition to the main concert hall, its foyers and rehearsal rooms – administrative and technical rooms, an educational wing, exhibition spaces, a café, a restaurant, all the necessary logistical and technical facilities, and a car park.
The Philharmonie de Paris has taken a positive approach to the issue of accessibility for disabled people and will offer every visitor a personalised welcome. Aiming to set an example in meeting environmental challenges, the construction meets the quality certification standards set by recognised inspection bodies.
The building is due to open in early 2014.