© Hubert Verneret
Construction of the Opéra Bastille
Local residents in the neighbourhood looked upon the new building in an unfavourable light: It would occupy the site of the former Bastille railway station, built in 1858-1859 and abandoned in 1969 following the launch of the new RER A underground line and require the levelling of a number of local shops, a cinema and several apartment buildings. A number of locals mobilised and organised protests against the project but their efforts would be in vain. The EPOB invited neighbourhood residents to a special presentation of Carlos Ott’s architectural project in a last-ditch attempt at persuasion and endeavoured to undertake the necessary expropriations and relocations diplomatically—an all but impossible task given the deadlines stipulated. The demolition of the site began in late 1984.
Réactions des riverains au projet de construction de l’Opéra Bastille, reportage du 15 juillet 1983
Impressive battles, project scale-backs (the abandonment of the modular space and additional areas for the studios and workshops), resignations and other about-turns would follow. The very existence of the Opéra Bastille would be put to the test and its construction would be punctuated by turmoil and confusion. However, thanks to the perseverance of the EPOB’s team and the decisive support of François Léotard, Minister of Culture from 1986 to 1988, the building was completed in time.
Etat des lieux de la construction du futur Opéra Bastille, reportage du 23 mai 1986
Désaccord entre Jacques Chirac et François Léotard sur l’avenir de l’Opéra Bastille, reportage du 22 juillet 1986
Nomination de Pierre Bergé à la présidence de l’Opéra de Paris, reportage du 31 août 1988
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