Philharmonie de Paris

  • Paris, France
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Harmonies and chords…


In the word Philharmonic, one easily imagines a love of harmony. We play in successive harmonies, in urban harmonies. The Paris Philharmonic exists like a prestigious event which maintains the harmonious relationship with the Parc de la Villette, La Cité de la Musique and the Paris ring road.


  • Primo: Harmony with the light of Paris, the ray of sun in the grey clouds, the rain… An architecture of measured and composed reflections created by a subtle relief of cast aluminium paving that draws Escheresque patterns on the ground.
  • Secundo: Harmony with the Parc de la Villette, a continuation of Tschumian themes, a horizontal sheltered garden beneath the building, punctuated follies, reflections of shade in the shiny architectural surfaces, the creation of a “la Villette hill”, a walkable mineral relief which, following the example of the Buttes-Chaumont, forms an observatory over the urban landscape.
  • Tertio: Harmony with the Cité de la Musique through the drawing of oblique plans following paved lines of force that have already been traced.
  • Quatro: Harmony with the ring road and the suburbs by the creation of a sign on a dynamic, distant scale, an illuminated apparition that punctures through the relief, displaying the concert programme…


Another chord needs to be struck with contemporary music and contemporary listeners who have become comfortable and lazy in front of their HiFi systems and CD collections. The Paris Philharmonic is a truly open space.


  • Primo: The hall and the foyers offer earthly pleasures. One can meet friends here, pass the time wandering around the boutiques, eat and drink in bistros with a view of the garden, read in the lounges…
  • Secundo: The hall, evoking immaterial sheets of music and light, suspends the listeners in a space on long balconies featuring wide, deep seats for exceptional comfort. Thanks to the suspended design, one has the impression of being surrounded, immersed in music and light. The hall’s shell, a “volumetric cyclorama “, is washed with theatrical lighting according to the repertoire being performed. In fine weather, the windows facing the park and the suburbs can be opened.
  • Tertio: It is about restoring the lustre to the unique experience that each concert represents, an experience not just about the rapture of music, but about visual and sensory pleasure, about sharing that feeling of desire that inhabits the most prestigious Philharmonic halls. The Paris Philharmonic will belong of this group, helped by its calm yet powerful ‘monomaterial’ aesthetic of cast aluminium with delicate, pearly nuances, and with the mysterious presence of its hall, softly glowing within the grey and silver folds of the edifice.



​​Jean Nouvel