Concert hall, studios, asbestos removal… The headquarters of Radio France celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2023. It has been renovated from top to bottom.
The rehabilitation of the building French Radio is completed, after nearly fifteen years of work, announced Friday the direction of the Round House, marking the end ofa pharaonic construction site whose costs and delays have increased over time. “2022 marks the end of a historic project: the rehabilitation of the House of Radio and Music” whose “the original look and soul» have been kept but which has been «modernized on the technical plans, with an upgrade to the standards of the building, but also technological“, specifies Radio France in a press release.
Inaugurated with great fanfare by Charles de Gaulle in 1963, the Maison Ronde, at 116, avenue du Président-Kennedy in Paris, had to be brought into compliance with fire prevention and asbestos standards. In total, 90,000 m2 have been renovated, including the Radio France auditorium with an area of 2,300 m² and 1,461 seats, 38,000 m2 of offices or the famous studio 104 which can accommodate 856 visitors.
Discussions concerning this work had started in 2005. It was then planned to launch it at the beginning of 2006 for a duration of six years and a cost of around 240 million euros. The project, finally initiated in 2008, had been singled out in 2015 by the Court of Auditors which pointed to “financial drift“contributing to the”imbalance in the company’s accountspublic. In February 2019, the Court was still under the “calendar extensions” – end of work postponed to 2022 instead of 2018 – which “deteriorate the social climate” and “a continuous increase in costs, now increased to 583 million euros“.
Radio France stressed on Friday that the renovation of its building was being completed “in accordance with the schedule established in 2018 and without overspending», representing a total cost of 493 million euros excluding taxes. In 2018, “the project had indeed been updated to ensure effective management, integrate new digital challenges, as well as the production methods of tomorrow“and adapt”inherent hazardsto such a site, according to management.
The board of directors had then set the maximum total cost of the operation at 510 million euros, according to a perimeter different from that of the Court of Auditors. An amount thatthe rehabilitation team succeeded in reducing as the risks moderated“, specified to AFP Radio France.