Philharmonie de Paris

The Philharmonie de Paris (French pronunciation: ​[filaʁmoni də paʁi]) is a complex of concert halls in Paris, France. The buildings also house exhibition spaces and rehearsal rooms. The main buildings are all located in the Parc de la Villette at the northeastern edge of Paris in the 19th arrondissement. At the core of this set of spaces is the symphonic concert hall of 2,400 seats designed by Jean Nouvel and opened in January 2015. Its construction had been postponed for about twenty years to complete the current musical institution la Cité de la Musique designed by Christian de Portzamparc and opened since 1995. [1] Mainly dedicated to symphonic concerts, the Philharmonie de Paris also present other forms of music such as jazz and world music.

Philharmonie de Paris
Philharmonie de Paris @ La Villette (28853121662).jpg
Address221 avenue Jean-Jaurès
75019 Paris
Coordinates48°53′30″N 2°23′39″E / 48.891566°N 2.39407°E / 48.891566; 2.39407
Public transitParis Métro Paris Métro Line 5 Porte de Pantin, Tramways in Île-de-France Île-de-France tramway Line 3b Porte de Pantin, RER RER E Pantin, Bus (RATP) 75, 151
TypeConcert hall
Capacity2,400 (Grande salle Pierre Boulez)
Opened14 January 2015
ArchitectJean Nouvel


The project was announced on 6 March 2006, by the Minister of Culture and Communication, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, and the Director of the Cité de la musique and of the Salle Pleyel, Laurent Bayle, during a press conference on the reopening of the Salle Pleyel, now linked with the Cité de la Musique. In 2007, Jean Nouvel won the design competition for the auditorium. He brought in Brigitte Métra as his partner, along with Marshall Day Acoustics (room acoustics design), Nagata Acoustics (peer-review and scale model study) and dUCKS Scéno (scenography).[2][3]

The cost of construction, expected to be €170 million, was shared by the national government (45 per cent), the Ville de Paris (45 per cent), and the Région Île-de-France (10 per cent), but the final cost was around €386 million ($490 million) [4]

Opening ceremonyEdit

The hall opened on 14 January 2015, with a performance by the Orchestre de Paris of Faure's Requiem, conducted by Paavo Järvi, played to honour the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shootings which had taken place in the city a week earlier. It is located in the Parc de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. This sector of the city was also the home of the two brothers who carried out these killings. The opening concert was attended by French President François Hollande, but boycotted by the architect.[5]

Philharmonie 1Edit

Philharmonie de Paris: Philharmonie 1

Designed by Jean Nouvel, the Philharmonie 1 is an organic design with innovative forms rising like a hill within the Parc de la Villette. Aluminium panels in a basketweave design swirl tightly around the structure and contrast with the rest of its matte exterior. The exterior features the images of 340,000 birds etched into the surface in seven different shapes and four shades ranging from light grey to black to symbolize a grand take-off. The rooftop, 37 metres high, will be open to the public and will give visitors an expansive view of the city blending into the suburbs.

The building houses the site's largest concert hall, called the Grande Salle Pierre Boulez. The design of the auditorium follows the model pioneered by the Berlin Philharmonie to intensify the feeling of intimacy between the performers and their audience. Indeed, the auditorium adapted the way the 2400 seats are distributed, between the parterre, behind the stage and on floating balconies around the central stage. The farthest spectator is only 32 metres from the conductor (compared to 40 or 50 metres in most large symphony halls). The hall's enveloping configuration is designed to immerse the spectator in the music. Its walls are composed of moving panels designed to redirect the sound in multiple directions. These panels alternate with sound absorbing surfaces, specially treated to increase reflection and reverberation, the sound resonates throughout the vast acoustic volume (30,500 cubic metres).The tiers and parterre seating are retractable, offering an increased capacity of 3,650 people for events such as amplified concerts that require special configurations.

A number of spaces for use by musicians are situated around the hall, including dressing rooms but also rehearsal rooms. In all, the hall is encircled by five rehearsal rooms for various ensembles and ten chamber music studios. An entire section of the building is occupied by an 1,800-square-metre (19,000 sq ft) educational centre. With various rooms designed for collective practice, it will host workshop cycles for many groups. The site also boasts an 800-square-metre (8,600 sq ft) exhibition space, a conference hall and two restaurants.

Philharmonie 2Edit

This used to be called Cité de la Musique and consists of:

  • an amphitheater
  • a concert hall seating 800–1,000
  • a museum of classical music instruments dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries
  • a music library
  • exhibition halls and
  • workshops


The Philharmonie de Paris contracted the Austrian organ-maker Rieger Orgelbau to construct a pipe organ. It is made up of 6,055 pipes with 91 stops and was designed to complement the building's architecture. The organ debuted with a concert on 28 October 2015, with an improvisation by Thierry Escaich and a performance of Symphony No. 3 (Saint-Saëns).[6][7] Another organ of 53 stops on 3 manuals and pedals had already been built in 1991 by the same firm for the nearby Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMDP).


  1. ^ Philharmonie de Paris – Presentation.
  2. ^ "Making acoustic choices for the future symphony hall". Philharmonie de Paris. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  3. ^ McGar, Justin (22 January 2015). "The Acoustic Feats of the World's Costliest Concert Hall". Sourceable. Archived from the original on 8 June 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  4. ^ Loomis, George (28 August 2014). "France's New Music Temple". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Jean Nouvel boycotts opening of his Philharmonie de Paris". Dezeen. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Symphonic Concert". Philharmonie de Paris. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Philharmonie de Paris project details". Rieger Orgelbau. Retrieved 27 October 2015.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 48°53′30″N 2°23′39″E / 48.891566°N 2.39407°E / 48.891566; 2.39407