If I were an architect, I wonder what my critical eye might make of the design of Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, through which I travelled yesterday.
It’s one of the ugliest airports I’ve ever been to, a sprawling mass of bare concrete that evokes an absolute air of coldness. As you ride the inter-terminal bus from the RER station to Terminal 2, you feel it’s the kind of place that seems to go out of its way to make you feel unwelcome, so oppressive-looking that you feel depressed just going there!
It’s the kind of architectural design that you can quite easily compare to the lack of soul typified by drab building design in the post-World War 2 Soviet era that you saw all over eastern Europe. Certainly not inspired by Stalinist classicism architecture.
Inside, though, it’s quite a different story. There you have some great imagination.
I took this photo yesterday of the roof in the departure area as I waited for my flight back to Amsterdam. This is a view of the beginning of the gate areas as you come out of the security checks.
I’ve flown through CdeG quite a few times and it’s still a breathtaking cathedral-like vista every time your eyes take in the scale of what you’re seeing. It’s still all bare concrete inside the terminal building yet, unlike the exterior of the drab buildings, it is a welcoming sight.
As the saying goes, though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I wonder what Howard Roark would have made of it all.