La Seine Musicale is a multi-purpose musical facility on Seguin Island, in Boulogne-Billancourt in the western suburbs of Paris.
Previously, the island was home to the old Renault manufacturing plant, which closed in 1992. After an interceding plan to build a museum there was cancelled, the city officials of Boulogne-Billancourt were inspired afresh by the Nomadic Museum, which I had constructed in New York in 2005. They asked me to design a temporary art museum using shipping containers and paper tubes for the island while waiting further redevelopment. However, this plan was also cancelled.
In 2010, the department of Hauts-de-Seine, to which Boulogne-Billancourt belongs, bought the island for one euro. Subsequently, architect Jean Nouvel designed the masterplan for the island and two years later, in 2012, a competition was held for the building of a multi-purpose musical facility on the island.
We prepared many drawings, perspectives and models for the venue and were one of only three teams selected to continue after the first round. Then, we made more detailed plans and image videos and finally our team won the competition in 2013. This process had run for one and half years.
The available site was 330m long, running along a narrowing edge of the Seguin Island. The Eiffel Tower happens to be almost as long and as wide as the site. Here, we have designed a musical facility with the total floor area of 36,500m². This includes a multi-use concert hall Grande Seine with seating for 4000-6000, together with a classic concert hall Auditorium which incorporates 1150 seats, a music school, and retail.