[Francois Mitterrand]'s grands projets, all submitted for blind competitive bidding, include: the $500-million Bastille Opera designed by Canadian architect Carlos Ott (though Mitterrand is said to have favored [Richard Meier]); the $700-million Grande Arche de la Defense by Dane Johan Otto von Sprekelsen; the $1.4-billion new national library by Frenchman Dominique Perrault, and [I. M. Pei]'s $1.2-billion Louvre Museum redesign.
All of Meier's drawings and detail work are still done at his offices in the United States. When the Canal Plus building was under construction, Meier said he had 17 American staffers on the ground supervising the work. But the lopsided European proportion of his recent workload has concerned the silver-haired, Newark, N.J.-born architect.
PHOTO: Meier designed this building in Paris to house the corporate headquarters of France's Canal Plus TV and movie production company. / SCOTT FRANCES / Esto-CANAL PLUS; PHOTO: Architect Richard Meier / ALASTAIR MILLER / For The Times