1973 – 1990, PARIS, FRANCE
The Ircam (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) – institute for musical/acoustical research and coordination, a collaboration between scientists and musicians – is a ‘musical instrument on an urban scale’.
Inaugurated in 1978 as part of the Centre Pompidou development, the Ircam was entirely underground, three levels of highly flexible spaces to facilitate research and experimentation.
The ceilings, floors and walls are all mobile so that volume and acoustics for musical performances can be modified.
In 1990, RPBW added a six-storey tower intended for the institute’s offices, giving the hidden building a visual presence and relationship to the Pompidou Centre opposite.