earlier this year la seine musicale, a major new music venue in france, opened its doors to the public for the first time. designed by shigeru ban and jean de gastines, the development is located on a city-owned 2.35 hectare plot and extends nearly 280 meters along the riverbank of île seguin, an island on the seine river in paris’ western suburbs.

shigeru ban la seine musicale
all images by luc boegly and sergio grazia / video courtesy of département des hauts-de-seine

 

 

now that la seine musicale has been open for more than a month, photographers luc boegly and sergio grazia have toured the building to document its architecture in more detail. developed in collaboration with local architect jean de gastines, shigeru ban’s ship-like design responds to the curvature of the island as well as its industrial heritage. the project’s defining feature is a spherical auditorium with a ‘sail’ of photovoltaic panels, which moves in response to the sun’s path across the sky.

shigeru ban la seine musicale
the project’s defining feature is a spherical auditorium with a ‘sail’ of photovoltaic panels

 

internally, a 1,150-seat auditorium has been designed to foster visual and acoustic intimacy between the performers and the audience. while surrounding the stage, interior walls and ceilings have been covered with a variety of timber forms and patterns that establish a warm and inviting atmosphere.

shigeru ban la seine musicale
the interior of the latticed sphere is brightly illuminated

 

 

alongside the auditorium, the scheme also includes a large multipurpose concert hall, a smaller classical music venue, rehearsal and recording rooms, and a range of retail outlets. with a public rooftop park that extends inside the building itself, a clear emphasis has been put on the scheme’s accessibility and the inclusion of welcoming civic facilities.

shigeru ban la seine musicale
visitors are greeted with views of the surrounding landscape

shigeru ban la seine musicale
the sphere provides access to a large auditorium

shigeru ban la seine musicale
the institution opened to the public in april 2017

shigeru ban la seine musicale
an upper level offers views along the river

shigeru ban la seine musicale
a 1,150-seat auditorium has been designed to foster visual and acoustic intimacy

shigeru ban la seine musicale
interior walls and ceilings have been covered with a variety of timber forms

shigeru ban la seine musicale
the project has been conceived as a new symbol for western paris

shigeru ban la seine musicale
the ship-like design responds to the curvature of the island

 

 

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  • How is this auditorium design “ship-like?” Not in these photos anyway. More like a Faberge egg. Quite lovely.

    Mort d'Urban says:

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