China backs architect of faulty Paris terminal

25th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

BEIJING, May 25 (AFP) - French architect Paul Andreu, who designed the terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport where a roof collapsed killing four, was given a vote of confidence Tuesday by his Chinese employers who said his job at a landmark theatre in Beijing was safe.

BEIJING, May 25 (AFP) - French architect Paul Andreu, who designed the terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport where a roof collapsed killing four, was given a vote of confidence Tuesday by his Chinese employers who said his job at a landmark theatre in Beijing was safe.

Andreu, who was due to return to Paris Tuesday, is designing Beijing's new National Grand Theatre, boasting an enormous glass and titanium tear-drop-like bubble surrounded by water.

"We have confidence in Paul Andreu," Wang Zhengming, a spokesman involved in the theatre project told AFP, adding that work was progressing as normal.

"The accident (in Paris) will have no effect on our building work which will continue as normal."

The roof of the ultra-modern new terminal at Paris' Charles de Gaulle collapsed at the weekend.

Fresh cracking noises were heard Monday similar to the ones that preceded Sunday's disaster, forcing an evacuation of the building.

A technical investigation is underway into the causes of the accident, but France's airport chief warned that the entire building may be demolished if a design fault is shown to have been the origin.

The internationally-renowned Andreu told AFP Monday he was "shocked" by the collapse, but declined to speculate on what might have gone wrong.

Wang stressed that all the necessary safety measures were being followed at the National Grand Theatre.

"At the beginning of the design of the theatre, we placed safety at the forefront of our plans and we have taken all the necessary measures, including in the choice of the materials," he said.

Work on the USD 325 million theatre began in December 2001 after years of delays as critics complained the modern-looking building did not fit in with China's historical and cultural traditions.

The building is more than 149,500 square metres (1.6 million square feet) in area and comprises three halls, including a 2,416-seat opera house, a 2,017-seat concert hall and a 1,040-capacity theatre.

Andreu, who also designed Shanghai's Pudong airport, told AFP late last year he expected construction to be completed in late 2005.

© AFP

Subject: French news

 

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