A new, major concert hall was inaugurated last week, Philharmonie de Paris. It is now the premiere classical concert venue of Paris, replacing Salle Pleyel. In the works for 20 years, construction was started in 2006 and it was designed by Jean Nouvel. The 2400 seat venue has superior acoustics and the International New York Times applauded the sound in a review last week. The original budget was 170 million euros but has soared to 390 million euros and it took almost twice as long to build than first scheduled.
I went to photograph the outside the week before it opened and was surprised the structure wasn’t completed yet. There were holes on the outside and cranes were still filling in the missing panels. Workers failed to finish the building before the opening but the show must go on and the hall opened on schedule on January 14, much to Jean Nouvel’s chagrin, as he purposely did not attend in protest to the hall opening before its completion.
Philharmonie de Paris is part of Cité de la Musique, a complex of buildings dedicated to music that includes another smaller music hall, music museum, and music conservatory.
Cité de la Musique is located in Parc de la Villlette in the 19th arr., a former slaughterhouse that was transformed into a 35.5 hectare public park in 1987, part of Francois Mitterand’s urban redevelopment plan.
One of the reasons Philharmonie de Paris is located in the 19th arr. near the banlieue and close to the outer rim of the city was to attract a younger and more diverse audience. Ticket prices reflect that goal, with tickets offered for as little as 10 euros. The hall will also include world music and jazz concerts.
Below are photos of Philharmonie de Paris and other buildings in the Cité de la Musique.
221, avenue Jean-Jaurès 75019
Metro: Porte de Pantin
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour