Move the cultural centre of Paris towards the west, such is the wager of Pierre-Christophe baguet deputy, since he was elected in 2008, mayor of Boulogne-Billancourt. Its goal: the ile Seguin. Build little by little a huge cultural hub dedicated to music, art, architecture, cinema and many other fields. It took a long time to wait for that island began a new life. After having hosted a Renault plant from 1929 to 1992, this piece of land of 11.5 hectares on the river Seine and was looking for a future. The businessman François Pinault had planned to build a contemporary art museum by Tadao Ando, before you throw in the towel and leave for Venice. Jean Nouvel wanted to build office towers, and shops, but it is ultimately the project of a city of music that has been selected by the departmental council of Hauts-de-Seine.

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Opened in April 2017, the gigantic building with an area of 36.500 m2 has been designed by Japanese Shigeru Ban, winner of the Pritzker prize 2014, and the Frenchman Jean de Gastines, the duo to whom we owe already the Centre Pompidou-Metz. This huge ship made of concrete-vegetated to its summit is topped by its famous “egg” or “nest” housed the auditorium, the symbol iconic fort to the west entrance of Paris. It is visible from afar by its mosaic glass with iridescent reflections, and its sail mobile made of solar panels that surrounds it.

This Seine Music has the advantage of understanding two theaters: the Great Seine river, a tonnage ranging from 2,500 to 6,000 spectators, for concerts, musicals, ballets, large live shows or corporate events. The Auditorium can accommodate up to 1,150 spectators, with an acoustic peak studied by the cabinet office Nagata and Jean-Paul Lamoureux.

Until The Seine Music so does earth two years ago, this gigantic territory of 11.5 hectares remained fallow. What are the potential, however, that this space is still blank, the jewel of the “valley of culture” launched by the department of the Hauts-de-Seine, between the Tower of the figures of Jean Dubuffet on the ile Saint-Germain, the hangar There (old halle balloons and airships) of Meudon and the Musée de la céramique at Sèvres. He had to resume everything from zero, advancing the ways of thinking, to impose new projects against the advice of the residents ‘ associations, within the constraints of an island. The task has not been easy. “But finally, we are there, the land was purchased by the city and resold to the group Emerige. The remedies are purged and the permits are signed,” said a delighted Pierre-Christophe baguet deputy, who confirmed the construction of the artistic of the upstream tip of the island carried by the group Emerige, after the signing of the deeds of sale in December last year. The excavation work will begin by June. The buildings (50,000 m2) is followed. The opening is expected between 2022 and 2023, depending on the difficulty. “A project like this cannot succeed without the absolute support of the elected official in charge of his city. I am committed, Pierre-Christophe baguet deputy also. There’s a real dynamic around the culture at Boulogne and a strong architectural innovation since the 30s, which anchor the city historically. If in the past, everything has failed on this island, it is because there was no common will,” retorted Laurent Dumas, collector of contemporary art that celebrates the thirty years of the group Emerige this year.

“we needed to offer a building strong, signature-based remarkable that can respond to The Seine Musical camped on the other side, at the downstream tip of the island”

Laurent Dumas

“It was necessary to offer a building strong, signature-based remarkable that can respond to The Seine Musical camped on the other side, to the downstream tip of the island, he adds. Like it or not the building of Shigeru Ban, it is a striking building of the Great Western paris.” The choice of Laurent Dumas has focused on two architectural firms innovative. The trio catalan RCR Arquitectes, winner of the Pritzker prize, installed in the north of Barcelona, will develop the artistic centre, with a multiplex of nearly 1,600 places, with the 8 rooms of cinema, served by a gallery, opening on the river Seine, shops, restaurants and offices. While the Austrians Baumeschlager Eberle, a precursor in research on the light and the energy consumption of its head is called 22-26, because there is never colder or warmer!), will build a hotel “arty”. On the principle of the charter “a building, a work,” signed by several promoters at the time of Fleur Pellerin, a work of art will be installed in each of the rooms. The whole of this gigantic complex will be complemented by a garden entrusted to Michel Desvigne.

CPR was chosen in the beginning of the project, as early as 2016. It is currently their biggest project after the Museum Soulages Rodez. Moderated by Jérôme Sans, co-founder of the Palais de Tokyo, and Paula Aisemberg, director of la Maison rouge until its closure in 2018, this place has referred to cultural innovative and a cross-cutting programme intended inside and out. Emerige expects an attendance of 500,000 people a year, which adds up to around a million people expected in the multiplex Pathé that jouxtera the foundation of contemporary art wanted by the group Emerige. To this we must add the public of The Seine Musical. “I have a wish,” says Laurent Dumas, to defend the French scene, which is proof of a tremendous impetus. For too long, it was more criticised than supported our artists.”

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By the presence of water, the location of the island Seguin is attractive. The place aims to be accessible to all, a great leisure centre is multicultural with a gastronomic offer of high quality but not too expensive, with a course of works in the park. Discussions are underway to highlight the collection Renault on the site. “This prominent place given to culture is part of the right line of the policy of patronage of the endowment Fund Emerige, which aims to support the creation and share with the greatest number.” The overall cost, all jobs combined, amounts to between 300 and 400 million euros. More than a billion and a half has been spent on this part of Boulogne. These developments of the ile Seguin (five are planned) go hand in hand with an improvement of transport and, in particular, the gare du Grand Paris Express.


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