Wooden and glass Seine Musicale powered by moving solar sail

Shigeru Ban is perhaps best known for his use of paper and cardboard in architecture, but he is also not averse to using wood. In a collaboration with Jean de Gastines, Ban designed the Seine Musicale, a mixed use music and cultural centre in Paris, which spherical design consists mostly of wood and glass, covered in part by an enormous moving “sail” made from solar panels.

The music hall is located in Seguin Island, in the western suburbs of Paris. The hexagonal structure of the sphere consists of wooden beams, 700 square metres (7,500 square feet) of timber in total. The glass façade is 4,000 square metres (43,000 square feet).

Surrounding the grid shell structure is a large triangular solar panel mobile sail. The sail’s ability to follow the path of the sun allows for increased efficiency of the solar panels as well as providing a solar shield for the lobby.

The two main halls inside the building can hold more than 5,000 people in total. To improve the acoustics, the ceiling in the auditorium is covered with 1,000 hexagonal wooden tiles with a beehive-like structure.

The music hall is incorporated in in Jean Nouvel’s master plan for the island. A concrete wall defines the perimeter of the site along the water’s edge, in which the multi-purpose hall is set. The Seine Musicale is surrounded by a green landscape.

Photos: Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia