This presented difficulties for the architects. The Great Hall of the People was designed in the 1950s in a typical Soviet style.
With today’s architectural concept and approaches, the National Center for the Performing Arts right next door could easily usurp the role of the Great Hall of the People in terms of exterior design.
Among the 44 proposals was a design by Andreu, but as yet it was not in the shape of a huge ellipsoid. At that time his design was also rectangular, so rectangular that his colleagues nicknamed it the “barbecue stove”.
For centuries, opera houses had been designed to be rectangular in order to acquire the best acoustics within, as the rectangle is the best shape for the transmission of sound.
The Great Hall of the People would be to its east and the Forbidden City to its northeast, but the architectural style of the National Center for the Performing Arts would be totally different from either of them.
From the beginning, the French newspaper Le Figaro compared the design to a beautiful pearl and stated it was one of the greatest architectural designs of the past century.
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.
In 1972, world famous tenor Luciano Pavarotti performed La Fille du Regiment for the first time in the Metropolitan Opera.
That night Pavarotti produced 9 solid high C’s easily within one minute, a feat that impressed the entire music world. From that moment on Pavarotti was known as the King of the High C’s.