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Paris on the go

December 09, 2014 | By francecanadaculture Ottawa

The City of Light grows more beautiful, associating its incredible heritage with contemporary audacity. Paris is still on the go – extending, renewing, modernizing its streets. Two new museums have just opened, the Philharmonie will be inaugurated  in January 2015, two other architectural projects will remodel the future capital: the new Halles and the new twin towers of La Défense.

The Paris Philharmonie Concert Hall

From January 2015, Paris will be endowed with one the most beautiful concert halls in the world. The Orchestre de Paris will  be the main orchestra of the Philharmonie. The architect Jean Nouvel designed an intimate circular building, inspired by the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Walt Disney Concert Hall of Los Angeles. The theater will be equipped with adjustable rows of seats welcoming a maximum of 2400 spectators. This concert hall, that is located in a popular neighborhood Northern Paris, aims to win a new audience.

The Seydoux-Pathé Foundation

This new institution for cinema is an architectural exploit by Renzo Pinao. The museum looks like a giant aluminum and glass shell set in the tiny courtyard of a block of old buildings. The historic frontage sculpted by Auguste Rodin has been kept though. This museum shows a whole collection of cameras and projectors, and some of the 4 000 posters, signs, models, 5 000 shooting photos, 30 000 archives files, and 350 items and cinema outfits hold by the Foundation. In the basement, old Pathé-restored silent movies are screened with Live Piano accompaniment, as they used to be in former times.

The Louis Vuitton Foundation

The ultimate masterpiece by Frank Gehry opened last October in Bois de Boulogne, next to Paris. The building, which has been ordered by LVMH consortium CEO, Bernard Arnault, looks like a giant futuristic boat or an iceberg, that has been covered with impressive juxtaposed glass sails. The Foundation offers art exhibitions and concerts.

The Canopée des Halles

A huge glass and metal rounded roof is now covering the biggest underground rail-crossroads in Europe. The architect Patrick Berger is inspired by vegetal kingdom: curved lines and glass leaves form the canopy of a urban forest. Renewing the Forum des Halles, a three levels shopping center and the biggest subway station in the very heart of Paris, also known as Châtelet-les-Halles, was a big challenge: 800 000 people are passing through every day . The whole complex, that will be achieved in 2018, will include public art facilities: conservatory, hip-hop center, library, etc.

The Hermitage Plaza towers

These two 320 meters high skyscrapers - completed in 2018 - will be the new jewels of Paris business and financial district "La Défense". The British architect Norman Foster intentionally designed smaller towers than the Paris symbol la Tour Eiffel (324 meters). With 90 and 91 floors, the Hermitage Plaza towers are foreseen to be the highest mixed towers in Europe, including offices, apartments, and leisure facilities. The official page of the project announces that the towers will be equipped with a 5-stars hotel, fitness centers, swimming pools, restaurants. On the ground, four smaller buildings include a shopping center, a theater, two auditoriums, an art gallery and students accommodations.