Among the famous buildings of the architect - the airport "Roissy - Charles de Gaulle", the Great Arch in the Parisian district of La Defense, the ski jump in Courchevel, the French terminal of the Channel Tunnel. In addition, Andre showed about a dozen more of his airports built in various parts of the world - in Adu Daba, Jakarta, Guadeloupe, Cairo, Bordeaux, Nice, Santiago de Chile, etc. However, his most famous airport, in addition to the already named Charles de Gaulle airport is the airport in Hansai, which was built by another, no less famous French architect Renzo Piano, according to the designs of Paul Andreu. Using these structures as an example, the architect explained that he had always wanted to create the so-called "intellectual architecture", combining artistic gesture and the ability to work with high technologies. For Andre, in his own words, the priority has always been and remains the search for adequate formal means to implement the conceptual idea, each time without repeating previous decisions.
All of Andre's buildings tend to be filled with space and light, however, the architect pays special attention to the quality of light, creating a special light-air environment in his interiors, with views of the surrounding space, as a rule, of untouched nature, or skillfully created the semblance of this wilderness. The abundance and concentration of light is achieved through the use of special flat metal structural elements, which the architect, in his own words, drew from Russian constructivism.
Like any modernist, the architect pays great attention to the invention of complex systems for organizing the movement of people along the corridors - "internal roads", which necessarily intersect in the central space. "They come together, but at the same time each does not lose its difference from others," says the architect. The crowd of people for Paul Andreu is also an important element of the building. He tries, whenever possible, at the design stage, to take into account the movement of human masses as chaotic color spots. For Paul Andre, versatility is very important. Life in the building he created should be in full swing.
Andre's buildings are quite modern, which means that they often resemble flower petals, or scattering splashes of drops. In any case, it is always something rounded and organic. At the same time, he is not too keen on computer design and modeling, believing that an architect is, first of all, a person, with his thoughts and experiences, and not a computer.
In general, the problem of the ratio of natural and artificial, landscape and architecture is one of the key problems for Paul Andreu, and it is solved in different ways. Good architecture, according to the architect, will never dominate the natural environment around him - rather, it will repeat the rhythm of hills, mountains, etc. In addition, high-tech glass walls and roofs always have a lighting system that allows you to simultaneously highlight the building, especially at night, and at the same time most gently fit it into the surrounding context, thanks to which the architecture seems to breathe and is constantly changing. Gardens, artificial reservoirs and roads appear in all structures of Paul Andreu - either glass corridors under water, or passages like bridges over reservoirs. The architect builds all these complexities with the help of metal structures lined with glass, although in the early years, when he was just starting to work, and that was forty years ago, Paul Andreu used mainly concrete.
The architect paid special attention to the story of his Maritime Museum in Osaka. It is a huge hemispherical glass dome standing right on the water and covering the interior of the museum, made in the form of a reconstruction of an old Japanese ship of the Edo era. For an architect, it is a symbol of the interaction of old and new, traditions and technologies - a process in which the architect himself seeks to keep the golden mean.
As for the theaters, Paul Andreu focused on 2 of his projects. The first is the so-called. "musical ensemble" in Pudong near Shanghai. Here the architect drew attention to the special structure of the walls. They are decorated with multi-colored oval ceramic plates, hand-made. It was especially important for the architect to emphasize his understanding of ceramics as a completely modern material. “Pottery is part of the culture, part of the history of China, and I see no reason to stop history,” Andre said. As a result, we see both a high-tech building and an absolutely Chinese one, despite the fact that nothing Chinese is directly copied.
The main project presented by Paul Andreu was the Grand National Opera House in Beijing. “I have always avoided confining myself to one style or one point of view: each project requires a special approach, a special search. In this sense, the Beijing Opera opens new horizons for me,” said the architect.
The building, conceived back in 1999, was finally completed only by 2006. Being located next to the Forbidden City, Tian Yin Myn Square and the National Assembly, the theater is inscribed in the main lines of the city's movement. However, with such constraining factors, the architect's concept is still in the freedom of external forms. Without repeating any formal elements of the National Assembly, right next to which he stands, the theater is the personification of Andre's idea of "an equal dialogue of eras". "You have to respect, but not give in," says the architect. On the one hand, the huge dome of the National Theater is perceived absolutely unobtrusively, but at the same time, it is in harmony with the old buildings.
The oval-shaped theater complex stands, as always at Andre's, surrounded by lakes and parks. The project does not impose itself, being part of the natural-historical environment, as if hiding behind trees and water.
There are three halls inside - an opera hall with 2300 seats, which is currently the maximum possible number of listeners. "The main thing in the hall, in my opinion, is, first of all, acoustics, and secondly, the creation of an overall friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Everything else, in fact, does not matter," says Paul Andreu.
To the left of the opera hall is an auditorium for 2,000 people, and to the right is a theater for 1,500 spectators. All this huge space is covered with a single dome without supports. This is a multifunctional complex. In addition to the fact that all these three halls can work at the same time, they are also surrounded by space that is used for exhibitions, meetings, etc. However, at the same time, the architect emphasized that the building is not of a commercial nature, but plays an exclusively cultural role.
In addition, Andrei noted the importance of the coexistence of modern technologies in this complex, for example, laser - and traditional Chinese techniques for working with varnish and silk. Only in conditions of such a synthesis can modern architecture exist, Andrei summed up. “Modern architecture should first of all take care of taking root in this particular area, and not blindly copying national traditions. An architect should exist in a mode of constant dialogue and exchange. This, in my opinion, is the key to success."
Anastasia Syrova, Archi.ru