The building of the Niccolò Paganini Auditorium in Parma used to be an Eridania sugar factory, active from 1899 to 1968.
Then, Renzo Piano transformed that industrial “box” into a great, transparent “music box” that is open to the surrounding urban park, with Lebanon cedars, sycamores, and oaks visible from every corner of the auditorium.
The Genoa-born architect once said, “Architecture is art, but art vastly contaminated by many other things. Contaminated in the best sense of the word – fed, fertilized by many things.”
His renovation plan maintained the large factory’s original morphology, yet edited its proportions in terms of structure and acoustics in order to prepare it for its new, musical life.
Now the Paganini Auditorium is like an 80-meter-long “telescope”, with 780 seats from which the audience can get close up to music.