We are talking about a new concert hall, which will appear in the La Villette park of Bernard Chumi in the north-east of Paris. The City of Music by Christian de Portzamparc, erected in 1995, is already near the site of its construction. It includes a concert hall with 1200 seats and a music museum, but already at the moment of its opening, it became clear that Paris needed a larger hall for classical music concerts.
It was assumed that de Portzamparc would also become its architect, but, according to EU legislation, an open competition was mandatory. Zaha Hadid, Coop Himmelb (l) ay, MVRDV, Portzampark, Francis Soler and Nouvel reached the final.
The latter's victory was not a surprise: he has new concert halls in Lucerne and Copenhagen, as well as the reconstruction of the Lyon Opera House, which gives him the right to be considered a specialist in the design of various kinds of musical institutions.
The Philharmonic, the official venue for the Orchestra of Paris, will be built between the City of Music and the Parisian circuit. From the side of this highway, its façade will be a 52 m high wall, where concerts taking place there will be announced in the form of huge inscriptions. The actual roof of the building will be located at a height of 36.5 m, completing a series of slightly inclined concrete planes - the floors of the building. To Nouvel himself, their rather free arrangement resembles dry leaves lying on the ground, which are about to be carried away by a gust of wind. They are tilted towards the "City of Music", thus creating a visual connection between the two concert halls. They will also be united by a new common area planned between them.
It has not yet been decided whether the main construction material will be concrete or metal, but the Philharmonic will be faced with aluminum panels. This option was chosen by Nouvel because of the high sound insulation qualities and strength of this material.
The auditorium for 2,400 seats is designed according to the "vineyard" scheme: listeners will be located on all sides of the stage on multi-level terraces. Such a plan will allow realizing the obligatory requirement of the customers: none of the spectators should sit more than 30 meters from the conductor. The innovation brought to this scheme by Nouvel is the "suspended balconies". They will be attached to the walls of the hall only through the bridges, through which the visitors of the concerts will get on them. This will allow the sound waves from the orchestra to spread more freely throughout the room. Acoustic panels will be suspended from the ceiling of the hall, the location of which can be adjusted depending on the evening program.
The Philharmonic is due to open in 2012.