All posts by Andrew Rasbold

Paul Andreu-Musee Taiyuan


The building designed for the architectural museum of Taiyuan has many of the classic Andreu designs.  The expanding red structures have been seen many times in his airports, inside and out, and are yet again seen in the 21st century as they were decades before.  His design is bold, beautiful, and large.  Very often I find that attempting to describe Andreu’s works is difficult, and best left to a visual explanation.  I had never heard of Paul Andreu, airport (and other) architect, but his work has been eye opening and I am glad to have looked into an architect that I have never heard of.  His work is worth appreciating.



This is NOT my home.  I find it somewhat ironic that I cannot find and do not personally have a picture of my childhood home, but this picture is reminiscent of many of the neighborhood homes, and is very similar to mine.  They are nice, comfortable, but relatively unimaginative.  However, they contain happy memories and often times that is all it takes to make a building memorable and important to the viewer.  The simpleness of the building is more than made up for by what happens within its walls.

Paul Andreu-Osaka Maritime Museum



The Osaka Maritime Museum was designed by Paul Andreu in the late 80’s.  Apparently designed according to the geometric shape “viviani’s curve”, Andreu once again matches geometry with organic design to create a beautiful building.  The lines weaving up the side of the building intersect wonderfully.  The building is not actually spherical, but mirrored in the water.  The modern design of Andreu seems ahead of its time.


Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium


I thought I would show one of the new cathedrals of America.  The money, time, and energy that goes into football stadiums could be called obscene, magnificent, and many things between.  The flowing top of the stadium draws my eye immediately.  I think it is an interesting, artistic addition to a structure whose purpose is merely to let the maximum amount of people watch a sports match live.  And yet the interest commanded by the game has allowed the architects of the stadium to have both ingenuity and artistry.  The flow of people, the desire for good viewing, and the demand for pageantry of the game have all come together to create a beautiful, yet empty in some ways, structure.


Paul Andreu-Montpellier Airport


Paul Andreu designed the Montpellier Airport in the late 1980’s.  You can see some of the bold geometric designs of both the time and his own style incorporated into this airport.  In previous designs, he has used a more flowing, organic design that was often reminiscent of flowers or mushrooms.  In this design we see more angles, but still there are circles and arches that break up the uniformity of the straight lines into a design still reminiscent of his older designs.  I find the unique design very interesting.


Oklahoma State University-Kerr Drummond Hall


I have tried to find a balance between architectural styles I like and others that I do not, so I have decided to look at a building on the OSU campus that I do not love.  I do not mean to denigrate OSU, I actually went there for a couple years and though I am a Sooner through and through I have good memories from my time there.  However, I was not a fan of much of the architecture on campus, and in particular the these two old dorms.  The stark, simple style is reminiscent to me of a low budget government building.  It seems overly simplified.  The straight vertical lines that run across the building do little to add the aura of the building, and the jutting window covers seem to date the building in poor way.  The buildings are strong and durable, however, and I think that is what the architects were going for so that was certainly a success.

Paul Andreu-Dar Es Salaam Airport


Paul Andreu helped design a new terminal for the international airport in Tanzania, and his work was completed 1984.  You can see some of the similar ideas from previous works.  Many of his structural posts blossom into flowery expansions as they reach up.  His work here is more geometric than some other designs of his that I’ve shown, and yet he doesn’t stray too far from the organic themes found throughout his work.  His designs are bold and unique, and I hope you enjoy looking at some of his work.


The Edge


This building is called the Edge.  I have never been to this building, but in honor of the semester’s theme, sustainability, I Googled ‘most sustainable building in the world’ and this building popped up.  It certainly has an impressive resume.  The building makes use of solar energy, natural light, and even rainwater to score over a 98% by the Building Research Establishment.  Located in Amsterdam, the building supports a strong, local bicycling community with hundreds of bicycle parking spots.  Basically, the building uses all of the different measures of sustainability we have looked at, from planning to building to functioning.  The design of the building is grand and impressive, and certainly debunks the myth that functionality and green design cannot act together in a beautiful or logical way.  Hopefully I will have the opportunity to see this building in real life in the future.


Paul Andreu-La Grande Arche


The Grand Arch of Defense in Paris is a monument designed to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.  It is a very modern structure, one that complements many of the other monuments in the area such as the Arc de Triomphe.  The initial design is attributed to J.O. von Spreckelsen, and on Paul Andreu’s personal site acknowledges the contributions of Spreckelsen, so it is unclear to me exactly how much input Andreu had on the project.  However, the celebration of large shapes seems in keeping with Andreu’s style, and the “cloud” structure seems to be specifically in keeping with his organic design.  Perhaps if I could read French I would be better able to educate you on exactly what input he had in this extravagant project, but I will leave you with a few pictures to at least appreciate it.


Washington DC Memorials



There has already been a post about the Vietnam Memorial, but I visited Washington DC back in 2004 and the monuments left a lasting impression on me.  The Vietnam Memorial is particularly moving.  It goes away from the monumental designs of many of the other memorials that harken back to ancient Greek architecture, and instead captures the emotions of the time.  The wall is simple and stark, using a black stone to emphasize the simple but overwhelming list of names of those that fell in Vietnam.  It is a dark, sad memorial that promises strength and remembrance even while recognizing a darker time in American history.  The Lincoln Memorial follows the ancient Greek design, and was another interesting monument that left a lasting impression.  While the Civil War was certainly a dark time in American history, there was much more optimism following the struggle and that can be seen in the celebration of Lincoln.  Aside from the strength of the structure it also impossible to forget the Martin Luther King Jr speech that took place on its steps.  The monuments show how we choose to remember and celebrate our history, and are very well done.