Blog 11 – Jean Nouvel’s Opera de Lyon
The fifth building designed by my assigned architect, Jean Nouvel, that I chose for the blogs assignment is the Opéra Nouvel, otherwise known as the Opéra de Lyon. It houses the Opéra National de Lyon, in Lyon, France. This building at first glance appears to mix modern and classical European styles, and it seems to be an interesting break from Nouvel’s typical structures. The lower and mid stone portions seem reminiscent of classic Europe, but the LED-lit glass above is certainly a more up-to-date feel. In truth, this is because a large portion of the building is nearly 200 years old. In 1831, the Lyon theatre was opened as the city’s new opera house, and it retained that title for over a 100 years. In 1985 (and again 1993) the city put Nouvel to work on revamping the theatre. Nouvel vastly increased the interior space, going underground for a practice hall and doubling the height with the estranged steel and glass vault. With a capacity of 1100 seats, it has been attributed with successfully wedding the past with the future. To me this building has a lot of character.