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Opéra de la Bastille
Place de la Bastille
Paris 12e

The result of a gigantic international competition, this building is one of the more maligned of the Grands Projets (Mitterrand’s 15 billion franc program to provide a series of modern monuments to symbolize France’s central role in art, politics, and world economy at the end of the twentieth century).

Though not nearly as controversial as Pei’s pyramid at the Louvre, or as flashy as La Défense, after the dust settled, it was the design’s deliberate anonymity that leaves this building wanting. A bulky and unadventurous composition of gridded glass and stone reminiscent of so many 1980s office buidings, the only controversy was the choice of the design in the first place; it was by no means a unanimous choice out of a field of 700 entries. Its auditorium is very large (2,700 seats) and has been hailed as the hall to bring opera to the masses.

Jay Berman 1998


How to visit

Take the Metro lines 1,5 or 8 to Bastille.



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