Philharmonie de Paris architect sues over fines for late opening

The architect behind the Philharmonie de Paris, one of the world’s most expensive concert halls, is suing the body that manages it over fines issued against him when the building opened over-budget and behind schedule.

The cost of the concert hall rose from €173m when the project was announced in 2006 to €386m by the time it opened two years late on 14 January 2015.

In 2017, the Philharmonie issued the architect, Jean Nouvel, with a bill for €170.6m, which included vast penalties for late delivery.

Now Nouvel’s studio is counter-suing, saying the Philharmonie’s claim is “totally disproportionate”.

Nouvel’s lawyers, William Bourdon and Vincent Brengarth, said the claim against their client was all the more unusual for the fact that the concert hall was targeting only the architect and no other business involved in the project.

They said the sums being demanded were “unprecedented in the world of architecture” and amounted to a death sentence for Nouvel’s studio.

The audacious Philharmonie building project was championed by the then president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who claimed: “Who can argue that in this time of crisis we don’t need music?” But it rapidly became a symbol of massive public spending on vast building projects.

As the architect and the building management prepare for a legal showdown, each side has blamed the other for mismanagement of the scheme.

Nouvel initially described the Philharmonie as the most prestigious project of his career, but he later distanced himself from it and refused to attend the opening, saying it was not ready.

READ  Daytrip digs beneath east London townhouse to create contemporary living spaces



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here