Beijing's futuristic National Grand Theater is undergoing a 23-show test run. And, its designer Paul Andreu is on hand to fine-tune the theater's facilities, before its official opening at the end of the year. He tells CCTV that the egg-shaped edifice is his most important piece of work to date.
Paul Andreu visited Beijing almost once a month during the decade in which it took to design and build the National Grand Theater. His visits have certainly intensified for the test run. Over the past few days, Andreu has returned every day to make improvements.
Paul Andreu, designer of National Grand Theater, said, "I'm very glad to see the audience in the theater. I'm also happy to see the manifestation of high-quality performances. A theater presents its best effect after two years of operation. The test run is a good start. I believe the theater will become better and better."
French designer Andreu gained international fame for designing Paris' Charles De Gaulle Airport's Terminal 2E. Later he designed international airports in Nice, Jakarta, Cairo and Shanghai. But the National Grand Theater is his first theater.
"The National Grand Theater is my most important design. Because it is in Beijing. It is in the heart of Beijing. It is also because it is a cultural symbol, connecting many many people together."
Andreu hopes the National Grand Theater will become a landmark in China. He also hopes it can be developed into a mini-city, with a variety of commercial and cultural facilities, where visitors can walk in at any time to relax and enjoy art.
(CCTV October 8, 2007)