Passwort vergessen

Can you build Sound?

Ateliers Jean Nouvel - Paris Philharmonic - Paris

  • Like a random upthrow of the earth and yet beautiful © Ateliers Jean Nouvel
The international music world is looking forward to the new Paris Philharmonic. Nouvel is currently working on the materialization of the “sonic body”.


Often, we close our eyes when we listen to music. And then we might sense what Jean Nouvel is currently building at the Parc de la Villette in Paris. Sounds that seem to materialize, bound in shapes and curves without capturing them. Emitting beauty, and sometimes having rough edges. In other words: the new Philharmonic in Paris. It’s going to be a symphony hall for 2,400 people with a restaurant, a multimedia department, a library, numerous salons, a sound carrier department, many rehearsal and class rooms, upper and grand lobby. The project seeks the perfect balance between acoustic, visual, stage technological and spatial conditions. 

Flowing Architecture

Nouvel was inspired by flowing, floating and yet very powerfully curved lines for the interior of the concert temple. There are no floors in the classic sense, but spatial levels, flowing through each other, merging, floating. This impression is achieved through a smart steel suspension, working invisible in the background. Yet the location of passages, walls, narrowings and openings is not random, but follows a detailed acoustical system, the curves of balcony banisters and the smallest of adjustments of reflectors have been tested precisely with a wooden model in a 1:10 scale – this work of precision was made with an accuracy of a tenth of a millimeter at the Ackermann carpenter’s shop near Würzburg in Germany. Nagata Acoustics and other sound experts are in charge of the acoustics. The Japanese, represented with an own branch in Paris since 2009, combine excellent professional know-how with the ability to realize it in a visually appealing way. Their approach makes them an ideal partner for the esthete Nouvel. On the outside, the contrast is made through wild broken cut boards, layered above and below each other in disarrangement, boards the sharp edges of which are softly rounded and thus creating a harmonious connection of both stylistic elements. It looks like an upthrow of the earth, a random shape that could not be any more esthetic, since they don’t seem to follow any concept.

Music from and for the World

Focused on the great symphonic concerts, Jean Nouvel does not exclude Jazz, chamber orchestras or  world music and not even Rock and creates an impressive stage of sails, nooks, spatial worlds for these sounds, flowing into each other like sequences of tones of a piece of music. For the great concert hall, Nouvel works together with Brigitte Métra, who has also cooperated with him for the Lucerne concert hall. The auditorium does not, according to international standards, face the stage directly, but is placed around the musicians – on balconies running all around, spread across various levels. The classic parquet does still exist, but is also generously placed around the stage. 

Numbers Games for Connoisseurs

In 2007, Jean Nouvel has won the architectural competition for the new Philharmonic and brought new life to the 2,000 hectare large area not far from the Cité de la Musique and the Cité des Sciences. 200 million Euros of construction costs have been calculated, construction works are currently on schedule. And Nouvel has even saved money: The towering top upthrow of the outer façade will announce the program of the Philharmonic in the future, visible from afar. Dual purpose par excellence...


Association Philharmonie de Paris (non-profit association of the French state, the city of Paris and the region Paris-Île de France)


Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Paris, France


Floor area: 20,000 m², Level area: 25,000 m²

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
Show all 12 comments

Patricia Del Valle Tello

Veryyyyy Architecture of the future !!!!! Wonderfull!!!!!!

1 year 2 months 2 weeks ago

Siddhesh Kode


1 year 2 months 2 weeks ago

login to post comments