The Cité de la Musique-Philharmonie de Paris is a cultural institution devoted primarily to classical music nestled in the southeast corner of Parc De la Villette. The Philharmonie de Paris-Cité de la Musique complex features several concert halls, a museum and a media library, making it a completely unprecedented project in Paris to advance the most beautiful expressions of music.
This incredible building was designed by two architecture heavy hitters: Christian de Portzamparc for the Cité de la Musique and Jean Nouvel for the Philharmonie. The two buildings were eventually rechristened, with "Philharmonie 1" for the Philharmonie, which debuted in January 2015, "Philharmonie 2" for Cité de la Musique, which opened in 1995.
The Philharmonie de Paris currently opens its doors to various orchestras. It hosts the Orchestre de Paris as its orchestra in residence and the Ensemble Inter-Contemporain as its resident ensemble, plus it has three associate groups: Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Orchestre National d'Île-de-France and Les Arts Florissants.
After a competitive process, Jean Nouvel's plans were selected for the architectural design of the Philharmonie de Paris.
This fabulous, 170-foot structure is covered with a gray sleeve that sparkles in the sun's rays and night lights. Its upper portion is adorned with thousands of birds in different shades of gray, creating the impression of continuous twirling.
Visitors can stroll the length of the building and enjoy the scenery from the 120-foot tall panoramic viewpoint. The restaurant on the sixth floor also serves up unrivaled views of Park de la Villette and the French capital.
Inside the building lies the Pierre Boulez Grande Salle. This immense, enveloping space features flowing curves. The lights suspended from the ceiling create an unmistakable sense of floating and lightness that goes perfectly with the music played in this concert hall. This superb technical feat was pulled off by Jean Nouvel with the assistance of acoustics design expert Sir Harold Marshall. The main challenge was to sound-proof the concert hall against the traffic sounds outside the building while maintaining unsurpassed sound quality and reverberation worthy of the virtuosos who perform here.
Meanwhile, the Cité de la Musique building was dreamed up by the architect Christian de Portzamparc, who in 1994 was awarded the Pritzker Prize, the Nobel Prize of architecture. His vision was to unite within a single space the Conservatoire de Paris and its instruments museum and to combine the learning and dissemination of music at one location.
Christian de Portzamparc's idea was an architectural maze with various entrances and openings. Comprised of several buildings, alleys, stairways and catwalks, the Cité de la Musique calls to mind a fully formed city, serving as a metaphor for the exuberance and spirit of sharing which characterize artistic geniuses.
This layout makes the structure a unique place where, according to musicians who have come here to play, it takes two weeks to get your bearings.
The Philharmonie de Paris and the Cité de la Musique are open Tuesday to Friday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Visitors are also welcome in the evenings on performance days.
The complex is closed on Mondays and on December 25, January 1 and May 1
• Tuesday to Friday, from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
• Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
When December 24 and 31 fall on Saturdays, the museum closes at 5:00 pm. However, it is closed on Mondays and on December 25, January 1 and May 1
The media library is open Tuesday to Sunday from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm. It is closed on Mondays and on December 25, January 1 and May 1.
Exhibitions are regularly held at the Cité de la Musique-Philharmonie de Paris.
Ticket for discovering the Paris Philharmonie, a must-see site dedicated to symphonic music. You can enjoy a musical experience by visiting the museum of music and the great concert halls.
Take advantage of a tour of Paris to visit the most symbolic sections of Paris, with a commentary on the history of the monuments of Paris. Immerse yourself in the symphonic world with a visit to the Philharmonie de Paris and the Cité de la Musique with a ticket from our agency PARISCityVISION.