------Program code: DO-081216-01901 (what's this?)

Source: CCTV.com

12-16-2008 09:09

Watch Video: Part 1 >>

The total cost of building China’s National Center for the Performing Arts came to nearly 3 billion RMB. During the 4 years it took to construct the center Architect Paul Andreu’s creativity was fully revealed.

He insisted not only on designing the decorative patterns on the railings of the stairs by himself, but also instructed the workers how to do it personally. However, in 2004 his apparent perfectionism was questioned when the 2E Terminal of Charles de Gaulle Airport, which he designed, collapsed.

In May 2004, the roof over a tunnel in Terminal 2E of Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris collapsed killing four people, and Andreu was its architect. According to media reports, before the collapse, cracks had been observed on parts of the concrete structure, and some had begun to doubt whether the structure, built at a cost of 750 million Euros, was strong enough to support the wits own weight, let alone the additional weight of the people inside.

The next day after the collapse, architect Paul Andreu became the focus of press attention. He quickly left Beijing and returned to Paris, where, as soon as he arrived, he faced questions from Paris police. In the days that followed, Paul Andreu’s name could be seen in French newspapers and on television almost every day. The collapse of the Charles de Gaulle Airport naturally had an immediate impact on the National Center for the Performing Arts construction project in Beijing.

China’s National Center for the Performing Arts designed by Paul Andreu has a huge shell structure quite similar to the ill-fated Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2E. The long axis of the National Center for the Performing Arts was 212.2 meters while the short axis was 143.64 meters wide. Would it be safe?

But how can he be so sure that the National Center for the Performing Arts is safe beyond doubt? The secret lies in the roof of the steel structure. These are the building’s circular beams. Their function is to fix and connect the steel skeletons.

When one of the steel skeletons is under pressure, it transfers the pressure to the circular beams. As the circular beams are connected to all the steel ribs, the pressure on a single rib is alleviated as it is spread around the entire structure.