The architect sued the philharmonic after it demanded 170 million euros for the enormous additional costs of the works
October 21, 2019 Share on FacebookShare Share on TwitterTweet Share on WhatsAppShare
Jean Nouvel (Photo: AFP)
Ateliers Jean Nouvel —the studio of the prestigious French architect— has filed a complaint for “concussion” (improper charge) and “favoritism” against the Paris Philharmonic , claiming 170 million euros from the architect for the increase in the budget of the concert hall during its construction.
The origin of this debt is the high cost of the prestigious concert hall, which went from 173 million euros when the project was launched in 2006, to 386 million euros when it opened in January 2015.
According to the Ateliers, this was due to poor management of the project by the Philharmonic itself. But for the latter, the fault lay with the architect, accused of having significantly underestimated the cost of the work and of having carried out “permanent modifications”.
In April 2017, the establishment in charge of managing the room sent the architect an invoice for 170.6 million euros. This lawsuit includes fines for delay estimated at 91 million euros.
For the Ateliers, this amount “is totally disproportionate not only in absolute terms but also in relation to the amounts actually received” by the architect, that is, 12 million euros in fees.
The Paris Philharmonic, seen from outside (Photo: RFI)
Furthermore, “the Philharmonic has chosen to sue only the director of the work, excluding the companies. There is no legitimate explanation for this differential treatment, ”write the architect's attorneys, William Bourdon and Vincent Brengarth .
For them, the request of the Philharmonic is a “concussion”, that is, an undue collection by an agent or a public institution of sums that they know are undue. The lawyers also denounce “favoritism” in the requests for services to the Bouygues company, selected without the architect's agreement. Finally, they accuse the institution of “forgery and use of forgeries” for signing documents of the work with the head of the architect's office, after his exclusion.
Jean Nouvel and the Philharmonic have clashed since its inauguration on January 14, 2015, in which the architect refused to participate, unhappy with the way in which the works had been completed. The 2008 Pritzker Prize even went so far as to speak of “sabotage”, accusing the director of the Philharmonic of having made “disastrous” decisions during its construction.
Originally posted on RFI.