Salle Pleyel Renovation
by Tateo Nakajima | partner | November 17, 2010
Salle Pleyel is a great success story on many levels. As an example of how a private sector initiative can become a vehicle for meeting public sector needs, it broke new ground and set new standards in France – a country traditionally dominated by cultural projects generated, driven and managed by government. It was also a shining example of how astute management can make the entire design and construction process seem easy – even for a project that was wrought with inherited difficulties ranging from a difficult start-up to significant challenges from the historical preservation authorities.
For us, the transformation in the quality of experience for both audience members and artists is a source of enormous pride. I have memories of going to the old Salle Pleyel as a young musician, and am still in awe of the extent of the acoustic and visual transformation that we achieved within an extraordinarily tight budget and short construction time frame.
Artec is very careful about the renovation and adaptive re-use projects we undertake, it’s true, and equally true that often studies we are engaged to undertake for this auditorium or that, show that the basic geometries of the venue in question make it a poor candidate for an upgrade (as opposed to building a new facility). But that only makes the impact we can achieve through a thorough re-thinking of an auditorium all that much more dramatic. Along with our work at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, and Sala São Paulo in Brazil, these three are not only some of the most successful of our halls, but a testament to the strength and adaptability of our internal design approach and process.
At the end of the day, Salle Pleyel has finally become the iconic experience for which it has long been known, comparable in the words of Renaud Machart of Le Monde, with the other historic concert halls of Europe.