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Nouvel Boycotts Concert Hall Opening, Says It's 'Not Finished'

Eight years in the making, French architect Jean Nouvel's brand new concert hall, the Philharmonie de Paris, finally opens tonight. French president François Hollande will be there, but as revealed in a statement Nouvel sent to Dezeen, the architect behind the country's shiny new piece of starchitecture is vehemently rejecting the celebration, insisting the building is "not finished." In the works since 2007, the 2,400-seat venue has spurred plenty of controversy, much of it focusing on how much over-budget it's gone ($455M is the final cost, almost triple the initial estimate)—a problem Nouvel also made a point to deny any responsibility for in the statement.

He writes:

"There were no acoustic tests of the concert hall. The schedule did not allow the architectural and technical requirements to be respected. This despite all the warnings which I have been giving since 2013."

According to Nouvel, construction will truly wrap up this fall, when "it will be time to inaugurate it peacefully and with dignity." In almost all of the photos below, taken just yesterday, workers can be seen prepping the place for today's events. The scene, with ladders and cones and all, certainly conveys some lack of polish. Though as you can seen in the first image below, taken at tonight's gala, the show went on. Read Nouvel's full statement over at Dezeen, and an editorial he wrote on the subject for French daily Le Monde (in French).

Photo by Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images

· Jean Nouvel boycotts opening of his Paris concert hall [Dezeen]
· All Jean Nouvel posts [Curbed National]