In 1974, the La Villette abattoirs, situated where Paris’ XIXth arrondissement and the department of Seine-Saint-Denis meet, shut down for the last time. In 1979, the Etablissement Public du Parc de la Villette was set up and launched its major project for the rehabilitation and development of 55 hectares of industrial wasteland with three declared goals:
- Building a major architectural complex devoted solely to music
- Establishing of a national museum of science and technology
- Creating of an urban park dedicated to culture and open to all
Today, this unique complex offers a blend of nature and architecture, of leisure activities and culture. The arts and the sciences rub shoulders in buildings whose architecture is nothing short of spectacular.
In creating the Parc de la Villette, Bernard TSCHUMI turned the largest area of open greenery in Paris into an innovative urban park reconciling the town-dweller and his or her surroundings.
The la Villette complex is distinctive in being home to a large number of public, private and voluntary amenities, marking it out as the major venue for culture, art, science and music.
In addition to all the exhibitions, circuses, festivals and children’s workshops offered by the Etablissement Public du Parc de la Villette, the complex hosts numerous other events during the year. The Géode, where giant-screen films are shown, has screenings all year round with a new film on the bill every three months (closed between November 30th 2018 and 2020). The Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, one of Europe’s greatest science museums, plays host to numerous exhibitions and talks aimed at both professional scientists and the large public, Junior Spaces 2 to 7 and 5 to 12 years...
With its 250 concerts yearly, its resources library, its rich and varied educational programme and its museum, the Cité de la Musique (Philharmonie de Paris) is a centre with a national and international reputation. Finally, there are also other venues staging performances and events to add even more variety to what the Park has to offer, including the Trabendo (concert), the Zénith (concert), the Cabaret Sauvage (concert) or espace Chapiteaux.
If you are visiting with children, do not miss free outdoor games at Jardin des dunes et des vents, or the Dragon garden playground. You can also do some shopping in Vill'Up shopping mall (open everyday).
· January 1984 : opening of the Zénith, designed by Philippe CHAIX and Jean-Paul MOREL
· January 1985 : opening of the Grande Halle, built in 1867 by Jules DE MERINDOl and converted into a multi-purpose performance venue by Bernard REICHEN and Philippe ROBERT
· May 1985 : opening of the Géode, designed by Gérard CHAMAYOU and Adrien FAINSILBER
· March 1986 : opening of the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, designed by Adrien FAINSILBER
· October 1987 : opening of the first gardens. There are 10 of them, most of which Bernard TSCHUMI is the designer.
Moreover, the opening of the Maison de la Villette, formerly the abattoir vets’ rotunda and rehabilitated by Pierre du BESSET, Dominique LYON and Kazuroshi MORITA
· December 1990 : opening of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, designed by Christian de Portzamparc
· January 1995 : opening of the Cité de la Musique and the concert halls, designed by Christian de Portzamparc
. January 1997 : opening of the Musée de la Musique, designed by Christian de Portzamparc.
For easy access to the Cité de la musique, la Grande Halle, children’s play area (outdoor), Zénith (concert hall) : Métro (Subway) line 5, Tramway T3b: Porte de Pantin station
Métro (Subway) line 7: Porte de la Villette station leaves you right next to the Museum of Science and Industry (exhibitions and junior space indoor,…), the Geode (movies)
Bus 139, 150, 152, 249: Porte de la Villette station, Museum of Science and Industry
Ring road : Porte de Pantin exit, Porte de la Villette exit
Lots of paying car parks are available: under the Cité de la Musique or near the Museum of Science and Industry.
There are various ways of transport to go to the Villette: subway, bus, car. We recommend that you take the public transport. Two possible entrances, either the Museum of Science and Industry, or by the Cité de la Musique.