As promised in my last post about my recent trip to Paris for my partnership with Le Méridien Etoile, I mentioned I also spent an afternoon photographing the interesting Philharmonie de Paris. I first noticed this building on the drive from the airport to the hotel last November. Through much pointing and gesturing between me (who speaks very little French) and the cab driver (who spoke very little English) I learned what this building was.
The Philharmonie de Paris is located in the 19th arrondissement, which is relatively far from central Paris. It took me nearly an hour by subway to get there. Despite the lengthy commute and less than exceptional weather, I’m still very glad I made the trek. It’s quite an interesting building and neighbors a few other music-centered buildings. The Cité de la Musique, pictured here (well a portion of it anyway), is one of them.
The Philharmonie was designed by Jean Nouvel who originally won the design competition in 2006. However, the building didn’t open its doors until January of 2015! The nearly 20 year delay was due to waiting for the completion of neighboring Cité de la Musique along with funding delays. Not surprising given how exorbitantly over budget the project ended up being.
I focused on photographing the exterior of the building as the interior was not open to the public when I visited. Strangely, given it’s only been open about a year, there was much construction and restoration taking place. In researching for this post I learned that the architect, Jean Nouvel, boycotted the 2015 opening because he felt the building was nowhere near complete. I can certainly see why! Many panels were damaged and a large number of areas were blocked off to the public.
Even so, the building is highly unique. The exterior façade is covered in 340,000 birds which are meant to represent a grand take-off.
I would love to visit the interior of the building with its curvy form and layered balconies that wrap around the stage; a stark contrast to the angular, geometric exterior.
But, for now some images of the exterior.