Ateliers Jean Nouvel’s long awaited opening of the Philharmonie de Paris concert hall took place yesterday at a VIP event in which the French President, Francois Hollande, officiated the ceremony three years after it was scheduled to take place. Jean Nouvel, however, did not attend the event, instead writing an incendiary column for French Newspaper Le Monde, and releasing a statement saying he feels that the building has opened “too early” and it ”is not finished.” He argues that “there were no acoustic tests of the concert hall [as] the schedule did not allow the architectural and technical requirements to be respected, [...] despite all the warnings which I have been giving since 2013.”
He has also tackled the inflammatory cost overruns of the project stating that: “I affirm that in no case was I at the origin of any cost overrun on this project,” citing the public report of Cour des Comptes (of February 2012) which concluded that “‘poor piloting’ [and] ‘many delays related to the fluctuations of the public arbitrations’ which ‘obviously influenced the cost of the operation’” were primarily to blame.
He concludes the statement by saying that “this fall, when the construction is completed, will be time to inaugurate it peacefully and with dignity.”
Read his statement in full here.