Paul Andreu / Architect

Last updated on profile page : June 15th, 2010

BIO

Paul Andreu was born on July 10th 1938 in Bordeaux. He was educated in Louis le Grand College, Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées and finally, Ecole des Beaux Arts.

He worked almost forty years with Aeroports de Paris, where he was successively architect in chief of the buildings of the Charles de Gaulle Airport, then director and architect in charge of the design and construction for all of the projects that Aeroports de Paris had in charge, in Paris, but, more generally, in France and out of France.

He conceived and supervised the construction of most buildings of the Charles de Gaulle Airport, in Paris, of some other airport terminals in France, in Nice and in Bordeaux particularly, and of many others abroad, in Abu Dhabi, Jakarta, Cairo, Dar-ar Salam, Shanghai, etc.

He designed other buildings, a Sea Museum in Osaka, a gymnasium in Canton, the Oriental Art Centre in Shanghai and, more important than any other of his works, in the centre of Beijing, the Grand National Theatre of China.

This was probably not sufficient to exhaust his desire of opening, since almost ten years ago he started to write. He published four books. Two books of reflexion inspired by his work of architect and two novels. To write was a very old desire that he had refused, with the pretext he lacked time. Today he fined it, as he fined enough also to draw. He believes his experience as an architect would make their infinite structures and developments more accessible to his.

(photography : ©Paul Maurer)

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BOOKS BY PAUL ANDREU

By Paul Andreu on Paris Innovation Review

Construction is an age-old activity but the interest that architecture evokes -like the interest that other arts generate- is cyclic. Why? Today some reasons appear to be quite obvious: the growth of cities means increased construction, technological advances open up new possibilities, and the need for sustainable development calls for a drastic change in habits. All the ingredients are in place for an architectural creation. And this should be enough. But some countries, cities, and organizations still feel the need to express wealth, power, progress, or ambition through buildings. This desire does not ignore, at least in general, the functional aspect of construction. But it is no longer able to completely justify itself through this feature alone. Architecture becomes "a means of communication" and architects become "stars" like the great communicators. This article, a contemplation of forty years of private practice, does not judge this evolution. But it can help in understanding and eventually guiding it.
Construire est depuis toujours une activité permanente mais l'attention portée à l'architecture, comme celle que suscitent les autres arts, est cyclique. Pourquoi ? Certaines raisons paraissent aujourd'hui évidentes : le développement des villes multiplie les constructions, les sauts technologiques ouvrent des possibilités nouvelles, la nécessité d'un développement durable exige un très grand changement d'habitudes. Il y a là tous les ingrédients d'une création nouvelle. Cela pourrait suffire. Mais, dans le même temps, revient, dans certains pays, certaines villes, certaines organisations, la volonté d'exprimer par des constructions richesse ou puissance, progrès ou ambitions. Cette volonté ne néglige pas la fonctionnalité, en général du moins, mais ne trouve plus en elle sa justification complète. L'architecture devient "un moyen de communiquer", les architectes, comme les grands communicants se "starisent". Cet article, réflexion sur quarante ans de pratique individuelle, ne juge pas cette évolution. Mais il peut aider à la comprendre et donc plus tard, à l'orienter.

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