New Philharmonie de Paris Is World’s Most Expensive Concert Hall

The Philharmonie de Paris, a major new music complex financed by the French government and the city of Paris, has become the world’s most expensive classical music venue before it is even finished. The 2,400-seat building in the Parc de la Villette, designed by architect Jean Nouvel after his practice won an international design competition in 2007, is now expected to cost approximately 400 million Euros (nearly double its original estimate) and open two years after its scheduled date.

The Philharmonie covers an area of approximately 20,000 square metres and will comprise (in addition to the main concert hall, foyers and rehearsal rooms) administrative and technical rooms, an educational wing, exhibition spaces, a café, a restaurant, all the necessary logistical and technical facilities, and a car park.

Despite the warning by state auditors that the project had suffered an “exorbitant inflation in costs”, the French government stated that it was too late to stop its construction. However, other projects commissioned under former French president Nicolas Sarkozy (including a new National History Museum) have been shelved.