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An architectural competition

As soon as the project to build the new Opera in the Place de la Bastille became a reality, one particular date stood out for its future inauguration: July 14 1989, the day marking the bicentenary of the French Revolution (ultimately brought forward to July 13 for logistical reasons). Following the official announcement, a Research and Development Association for the new Bastille Opera was created. It would be responsible for organising a major international competition in accordance with the wishes of President François Mitterrand. The relative closeness of the inaugural date compelled the Association—which later became Mission Opéra Bastille and finally the Établissement public de l’Opéra Bastille (EPOB)—to formulate a highly condensed schedule. The competition was launched in February 1983. In May, the jury was given 756 anonymous initial projects for consideration. After several deliberative sessions, six projects stood out and these were presented to François Mitterrand on July 5. On September 1, when the anonymity of the contestants was lifted, three candidates remained under consideration. They were invited to present their projects before the jury on November 10 1983. After a new round of deliberations, the Canadian-Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott, barely 35 at the time, was declared the winner.

Carlos Ott
Carlos Ott © Keystone France/GAMMA-RAPHO

Carlos Ott, Architecte
Portrait sur Octave magazine


Carlos Ott, Opéra Bastille, 1989
Carlos Ott, Opéra Bastille, 1989 © Michel Szabo

Construire un instrument de musique

Entretien avec l’architecte de l’Opéra Bastille sur Octave magazine


Présentation du projet retenu pour l’Opéra Bastille, reportage du 17 novembre 1983

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