Innovation That Matters

Solar-powered concert venue

Paris concert venue is powered by mobile solar panel wall

Publishing & Media

A new multi-functional space for music includes gardens, public walkways and a solar panel sail that follows the sun around the building.

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Built by the award-winning Shigeru Ban Architects company, La Seine Musicale fills Paris’ Seguin Island with a mix of indoor and outdoor public areas. Reminiscent of a ship, the new venue provides a variety of spaces dedicated to music, including an auditorium, recording studios, a music school and rehearsal rooms available to both professionals and hobbyists.

The main concert hall resembles a beehive’s honeycomb, and moving around it is a 45-meter high sail-shaped wall of solar panels that follows the path of the sun, helping to increase the efficiency of the building’s use of energy. Natural materials are used throughout the venue, with highlights including wood and an enormous glass door operated by hydraulics. The football field-sized garden and elevated paths within the auditorium provide walking space in all areas. Excellent acoustics and an 800 square meter LED screen also make the venue a destination for other art forms and businesses, with room for exhibitions and conventions.

Remaking derelict stretches of cities into multi-functional, eco-focused public spaces is helping bring alternative energy sources to wider audiences and larger scale use. A smart street in London now gathers electricity from pedestrian’s footsteps, and a disused prison in Amsterdam is being turned into a car-free neighborhood containing homes, restaurants, a leisure destination, park and a farm. What are the main challenges remaining in creating an energy-neutral city?




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