The name Roger Taillibert may not ring a bell for some Paris Saint-Germain supporters, especially newer ones, but it’s one we should all learn and admire. On Thursday, the Montreal Gazette and several other outlets reported that the famed French architect who designed the iconic Parc des Princes had passed away at the age of 93.
A 93 ans, Roger Taillibert, l'architecte du Parc des Princes, s'est éteint ce jeudi 3 octobre à Paris. À sa famille et ses proches, le Club présente ses sincères condoléances. pic.twitter.com/QdfEAs4jrH
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) October 3, 2019
Taillibert’s contribution to the history of Paris Saint-Germain is immeasurable even if he didn’t design the stadium solely for them. Constructed between 1969 and 1972, the Parc des Princes was originally the home of Paris FC. In 1974, unfortunately for them, they were relegated the same year PSG was promoted to Ligue 1 resulting in Paris Saint-Germain acquiring the Parc des Princes where they play their home games to this day.
For anyone who has been to the Parc des Princes or even watched a match on television, what immediately comes across is its unique swopping design. For those who have attended a match, as we’ve discussed in a recent PSG Talking podcast, the noise is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. PSG Talk contributor Guillaume described the stadium as a bathtub with seats that go straight up and a roof that amplifies the sound. When the Ultras are in full voice, it’s an intimidating display for any visiting team.
The Parc des Princes wasn’t Taillibert’s only masterpiece. He is also responsible for Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, which was used during the 1976 Olympics and later became the home for Major League Baseball’s Montreal Expos (before they moved and became the Washington Nationals in 2005). Today, the mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, tweeted that the “Olympic Stadium is known around the world and has given the city some great moments in their history.”
Le Stade olympique est connu aux quatre coins du monde et il nous a donné certains grands moments de notre histoire. Le legs de Roger Taillebert à Montréal est grand. Mes pensées accompagnent ses proches. https://t.co/E8jYrfpVJI #polmtl
— Valérie Plante (@Val_Plante) October 3, 2019
My favorite thing about the Parc des Princes is that it’s still officially called the Parc des Princes. In Taillibert’s lifetime, he never saw the stadium he designed called the “Emirates Stadium” or “American Express Community Stadium.” Le Parisien reported earlier this year that club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was floated the idea but thankfully, nothing has come of it…yet. In today’s modern world of football where clubs are looking for revenue streams everywhere, the inevitable name change will likely come at some point. For now though, let’s just enjoy Taillibert’s old-school stadium and hopefully, have a big celebration at the end of the season.
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