Shigeru Ban’s Seine Musicale in Paris, 
a True “Scenographic Tool”

Overlooking the River Seine on Île Seguin west of Paris, the spherical shaped Seine Musicale, inaugurated in 2017, is an iconic facility dedicated to all forms of music. Winner of the “Best Futura Project” at the MIPIM Awards in 2015, it fosters cultural and social exchanges in an architectural setting that combines stores, cafés, and restaurants with rehearsal, recording and performance spaces. The Seine musicale includes the 1150-seat Patrick-Devedjian auditorium, conceived to host a symphonic orchestra, and the Grande Seine, a large modular hall with a capacity ranging from 2,000 seats to 6,800 seats/standing, which can perfectly suit any other type of event. Ballets, musicals, contemporary concerts, and conventions are all equally well showcased in this modular hall, and “in France, [it is] the only auditorium able to hold up to six shows in 48 hours!” (1)

Designed by the team from Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and French partner Jean de Gastines, the unique 36,500 sqm Seine Musicale was at the heart of Île Seguin’s urban renewal project. Led by internationally acclaimed architect Jean Nouvel in the 2010s, the former industrial site of Renault’s manufacturing plant now has a second life as a beautifully designed music hub open to all audiences, together with a centre dedicated to contemporary arts, promenade areas, terraces, and other great attractions. 

The Grande Seine: a true scenographic tool
Consultants for the architectural team from French agency Duck Scéno handled the design of the facility’s performance spaces and were responsible for the scenographic equipment, stage lighting and audiovisual systems. The company AMG-FECHOZ ensured the design, manufacture, and installation of all the stage equipment (machinery, metalwork and parquetry) for the performance and rehearsal rooms. To provide the Grande Seine with exceptional flexibility of usage, the AMG-FECHOZ teams have created a series of automated platforms based on Gala’s Hall transformation technology and driven by 328 extremely compact mechanical lifts called Spiralift®. This hall is now one of more than 2000 installations worldwide that feature these Spiralift devices, developed by the Canadian firm Gala Systems, a leader in the multipurpose hall systems industry.

Described as a true “scenographic tool” (2), the Grande Seine transforms itself through automatic platform re-arrangements… at the press of a button! With quick turnovers to accommodate different kinds of events and rates of occupancy, it easily hosts a high number of performances, up to three in the course of a single day. Flexible and functional, this large hall has contributed to the island’s recognition as the dynamic cultural destination for all music and shows in Paris!

1. Cité Musicale on the Île Seguin, Paris. Explore France.
2. Cité musicale de l’Île Séguin, Boulogne-Billancourt / France / 2017.