Report from the 5 February 2019

HENNING LARSEN ARCHITECTS are to fit out the Paris Opera’s modular performance space and build the new workshops at Bastille.

23 January 2019Les Indes galantes de Clément Cogitore, nommé aux César 2019 dans la catégorie meilleur court-métrage 15 February 2019L’Opéra de Paris s’associe au Centre Pompidou et présente trois représentations exceptionnelles d’« À-bras-le-corps »

The Paris Opera has named the architect that will add the carry out the final stages of work on the Opéra Bastille complex, following a competitive tender involving the firms SRA Architectes, Blond & Roux Architectes and Henning Larsen Architects.
The winning candidate in the architectural competition is the Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects, supported by Reichen et Robert & Associés (architects), CET Ingénierie (engineering consultants), Peutz & Associés (acoustician) and dUCKS scéno (theatre designers). Henning Larsen Architects also designed and built the Copenhagen Opera (Denmark) and the Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik (Iceland).
The development of the modular performance space and the construction of new workshops will allow for the relocation to the Bastille site of all the activities that until now have been carried out at the Ateliers Berthier (in Paris’s 17th arrondissement and which the Paris Opera is scheduled to vacate in 2020). It will also result in the reorganisation of several departments currently scattered between the Palais Garnier and the Opéra Bastille. The departmental reorganisation and the improved working conditions for the employees will lead to greater efficiency in the future.
The orchestra and chorus and the dancers of the Opera’s Ballet will be able to exploit the new modular performance space— an integral part of Carlos Ott’s original project for the Bastille—and offer new smaller-scale productions at highly accessible prices. The Paris Opera Academy will also use the space to conduct its activities and present performances for young audiences with an aim to educate and foster creation. The modular performance space will also be used for opera and ballet rehearsals, thus replacing the rehearsal studios at the ateliers Berthier.
From an economic standpoint, the project will generate additional income streams for the institution, from spaces that will host events to the creation of a new restaurant on the Rue de Lyon.
The Opera will operate normally during the entire construction process and none of its activities will be affected.
The project aims to respect the highest environmental requirements and earn the sustainable building label BDF (Bâtiment Durable Francilien) Silver level.
The total budget for the operation (creation of the modular performance space, technical equipment, studios, workshops, and the transfer of the orchestra’s current rehearsal studio…) comes to €59 million which will be financed by a State capital investment grant and complemented by a minimum of €4 million in corporate sponsorship. AROP, (an association whose goal is to promote the Paris Opera) is joining forces with the institution and is launching a fundraising campaign today.
Design studies and tenders for construction-related contracts will be issued between now and 2020—the date when work is scheduled to begin. The new buildings are expected to be ready for occupancy in the first six months of 2023.


The project by Henning Larsen Architects offers an architectural design that respects the original work of Carlos Ott and fits harmoniously into the urban landscape.


The façade of the Rue de Lyon workshop extension will be characterised by contemporary materials and volumes, while at the same time respecting the proportions of the architecture of the current buildings.


The link created between the Opera and the Viaduct des Arts will extend the garden promenade all the way to the new workshops and include a staircase and a handicapped access point on the rue de Lyon.


The proposed remodelling around the curved façade of the modular performance space will show off the building it whilst creating additional areas to welcome the public, to host events and a restaurant.


The public areas of the modular performance space will include a hall, foyers, a new box office and reception areas.


The modular performance space will allow for a variety of configurations. It will have an estimated capacity of 820 seats. 

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