Jean Nouvel's Paris concert hall
spared the axe


News: Here are the latest images of architect Jean Nouvel's Philharmonie de Paris, set to become the world's most expensive concert hall after surviving the French government's recent cull of major cultural projects (+ slideshow).

Philharmonie de Paris by Jean Nouvel still going ahead

Setting out its spending for 2013, the French culture ministry recently announced it was shelving several arts projects – including a controversial proposal for a museum of national history – as well as axing state funding for a Snøhetta-designed replica of the famous Lascaux cave paintings.

But despite running two years late and €187 million over budget, it was decided that building work on the Philharmonie de Paris was too far advanced to be halted.

Philharmonie de Paris by Jean Nouvel still going ahead

The 2400-seat venue, located in the Parc de la Villette on the north-east edge of Paris, is now set to become the world's most expensive concert hall after spiralling costs required the city and the state to sink an extra €51 million into architect Jean Nouvel's project.

Construction costs are now expected to come in at €387 million, nearly double the original estimate of €200 million, with the opening date pushed back to 2015.

A French senate report recently criticised the "worrying drift" in the budget, suggesting the project is a "risky bet" against a gloomy economic backdrop, while state auditors also warned of the "exorbitant inflation in costs" of the publicly funded building.

Philharmonie de Paris by Jean Nouvel still going ahead

When completed, visitors to the Philharmonie de Paris will be able to climb up its sloping metal-clad roof, while concert listings will be projected onto a 52-metre-high aluminium slab visible from the nearby ring road.

We first brought you images of the project back in 2007, after Nouvel's studio won the competition to design the venue – see more of the first images here and here.

Other projects by Nouvel's studio we've featured on Dezeen include a design showroom where furniture is caged behind chain link fencing and a renovated nineteenth century brewery in Barcelona – see all our stories about Jean Nouvel.

Images are by Jean Nouvel and Arte Factory or Jean Nouvel and Didier Ghislain.

  • Henk

    A product designer could never justify such badly done shapes and forms.

  • Archinect

    Why the most expensive concert hall of the world? The Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg will cost more than €600 million and I bet even more in the end.

  • Edgar

    Poor la Villette, attacked by this monster!

  • mmmhhh

    And obviously Jean Nouvel couldn’t care less.

  • Chris

    If this managed to survive the cull, I can't begin to imagine what other proposed crap didn't.

  • Pao

    Horrible, in every possible way.

  • frank

    One word: mess.

  • simoes

    I’m so glad this thing was not to be built in my country.

  • ugrw

    Let’s see China copy this!

    • hates_haters

      Let’s see you copy someone who has a brain.

  • Tim

    “Dezeen prides itself on the freshness of its content so if your project has already been widely published, we’ll pass thanks.”

    Or not…

    • blah

      Dezeen gave up being concerned about its content years ago.

  • C G

    That is an outrageous price to pay for such a small hall. Then, with at least half the audience sitting behind the orchestra, it is doubtful that many orchestras of significance would ever play there.

    Outside, it appears that someone farted under a pile of newspapers.

  • overtax…

    Please don’t build it. It isn’t good.

  • H-J

    Can’t wait to see this built. It’s sublime in a Schopenhauer kind of way.

  • Janet Dorey

    Stunning, but at an outrageous price.

  • Phil Kvasnica

    Surely a hey day for Jean Nouvel, but definitely a nightmare for the construction crew (and the estimator, no less). Some amazing design, but all those curves? That’s getting a little more into calculus than I really want to. I wonder what Jean Nouvel’s frame of mind was when he was designing this. Did it actually get built or is this just a souped-up Revit or Sketchup slideshow? Jean’s obviously been doing architecture for a very long time, that or he’s VERY good at it!

  • geitani

    Surely it is not Jean Nouvel’s design or thought. It is really bad.

  • And the images are really bad too! Awful modelling.

  • pirate-china

    Looks like the Martians crashed into a WWII bunker. Let’s close our eyes and pass some greetings to Hollywood’s Independence Day.

  • Kenneth Smythe

    It looks like the visualization of a financial collapse. A desperate attempt to not be inspirationally vacant. Buildings like this are the failed children of Bilbao.

  • no_comment

    Oh God no. How? Why? Speechless. Some of his work is at least interesting in its mass and spatial quality. The Hôtel de Ville in Montpellier for example is at least interesting and semi-rational (for Jean Nouvel). This is just horrible.

  • poipon

    Even with all those people saying they don’t like it, I have to say I find it very nice =)