La Seine Musicale a new concert center for musical voyages
The Ile Seguin saga
Let’s start with a little geography lesson: very close to Paris, on a 11.5 hectare site, in a meander of the Seine, the Ile Seguin is downstream of the Ile Saint-Germain and its park. Part of the city of Boulogne-Billancourt, you can get here by metro – Pont de Sèvres – or the T2 tramway, not far from Saint-Cloud park. Once farmland, it became a fashionable place to walk, and was purchased by Louis XV. From the end of the 18th century onwards, it was home to wash houses and tanneries, including one run by a certain Monsieur Armand Seguin, as well as places of entertainment, such as riverside dancehalls and boating docks. It was then bought by the automobile manufacturer Louis Renault who built a giant factory there in 1929. It closed in 1992 and demolition began in 2004. The île Seguin-Rives de Seine project was then launched to redevelop three areas of Boulogne-Billancourt: the Trapèze (37.5 hectares), the Pont de Sèvres neighborhood (15 and 10 hectares) and the Ile Seguin. The design entered by the Ateliers Jean Nouvel was selected out of a number of proposals. By the 2020s, in addition to La Seine Musicale, the complex should include an arts center, a multiplex and a hotel decorated with works by emerging artists. Crossed by a large street, the island will also feature stores, offices, and gardens designed by Michel Desvigne – although there have been temporary gardens on the site since 2010.