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Paul Andreu Architecte

Paul Andreu: "I Would Only Take On a Project if the Ideas Were Mine. Otherwise, I Am Not Interested."

09:30 - 7 March, 2017
Charles-de-Gaulle airport, Terminal 1, Paris, 1967-1974. Image © Paul Maurer
Charles-de-Gaulle airport, Terminal 1, Paris, 1967-1974. Image © Paul Maurer

For 40 years, Paul Andreu was among the world's foremost airport design experts. Reflecting on this before the turn of the millennium, he stated that architectural historians of the future might consider the 1990s as “the age of the air terminal.” But shortly after this, he left the arena of airport design to focus on other large projects, many of them in China. In this interview, the latest of Vladimir Belogolovsky's “City of Ideas” series, Andreu explains why he made the switch and shares his thoughts on how good architecture is made—saying it often depends more on what you don't tell your client than what you do.

Paul Andreu: Before we start, I must explain something. I am an architect and engineer. For a long time I was not an independent architect but worked at and then was the head of airport works at Aéroports de Paris Ingénierie or ADPi, a subsidiary of Aéroports de Paris (ADP). This public establishment is not only in charge of the planning, design, and operation of three Paris-region airports, but is also involved in airport works all around the world, as well as other large-scale architectural projects. First, we did airports in France, then in the Middle East and Africa, then in China and all over Asia, and then we developed projects in other parts of the world. Most of the time we developed our projects from concept all the way through construction; although once we did just the concept for Kansai airport on a specially built island in the Bay of Osaka. As you know, it was designed by Renzo Piano and I consulted for him on function and circulation aspects.

Charles-de-Gaulle airport, Terminal II, modules A & B, Paris, 1972-1982. Image © Labo ADP Charles-de-Gaulle airport, Terminal II, modules A & B, Paris, 1972-1982. Image © Labo ADP New airport of Jakarta, Sukarno-Hatta, Indonesia, 1977-1985. Image © Labo ADP National Centre for the Performing Arts (Opéra de Pékin), Beijing, China, 1999-2007. Image © Paul Maurer +69

Paris' Grande Arche to get €200 million Revamp

00:00 - 6 August, 2014
Paris' Grande Arche to get €200 million Revamp, © Pete Sieger
© Pete Sieger

The French government has announced that it is committing €200 million towards restoring the Grande Arche de la Défense, the 110m tall hollow cube which marks the Western end of Paris' Axe Historique. The arch was completed in 1989 to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution, however in its 25-year lifespan it has not fared well: an elevator scare in 2010 forced the rooftop facilities to close, and the area around the North tower has been closed to the public due to the risk of falling marble tiles. Studies conducted between 2004 and 2010 concluded that one in six of the facade tiles had been severely damaged by rain.

The €200 million investment will focus on the arch's Southern tower, where workers for the French ecology and housing ministries who occupy the space have complained of a lack of natural light and poor working conditions.

More on the Grande Arche's future after the break

AD Round Up: Awesome Airports

00:00 - 13 July, 2014
AD Classics: Dulles International Airport / Eero Saarinen. Image © MWAA
AD Classics: Dulles International Airport / Eero Saarinen. Image © MWAA

If there is a universal truth, it is that nobody likes spending time in an airport. This article from the Financial Times corroborates this fact, pointing out that, no matter how well-designed a terminal is, people make every effort to leave it as soon as possible. While the novelty of air travel has worn off since its inception in the 20th century, the work devoted to designing airports has only increased. We’ve collected some of our favorite terminals we'd actually love to get stuck in, including works by Eero Sarinen, SOM, Fentress, J. Mayer H., KCAP, Paul Andreu, bblur architecture and 3DReid, Corgan Associates, De Bever, and Studio Fuksas. Enjoy!

Taiyuan Archaeological Museum / Paul Andreu Architecte

02:00 - 16 October, 2012
© Paul Andreu Architecte
© Paul Andreu Architecte

Architects: Paul Andreu Architecte Location: Taiyuan, Shanxi, China Project Year: 2007 Project Area: 50,000 sqm Photographs: Paul Andreu Architecte

© Paul Andreu Architecte © Paul Andreu Architecte © Paul Andreu Architecte © Paul Andreu Architecte +15