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Centre Pompidou

Related: Paris - museum - architecture - France - 1977 - modern art

Renzo Piano (1937- ) et Richard Rogers (1933- ) Centre Pompidou (1977) Musée National d'Art moderne Paris


The Centre Georges Pompidou (constructed 1971 – 1977) is a building in the Beaubourg area of Paris, near Les Halles and the Marais. Designed by Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini, it houses the Bibliothèque publique d'information, a vast public library, and the Musée National d'Art Moderne. Some of the art movements represented are Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. The museum has 50,000 works of art (including painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography), of which 1,500 to 2,000 are on public display.

The building structure is very distinctive: it has been described by critics as "an oil refinery in the centre of the city". The coloured external piping is the special feature of the building. Air conditioning ducts are blue, water pipes are green and electricity lines are yellow. Escalators are red. White ducts are ventilation shafts for the underground areas. Even the steel beams that make up the Pompidou Centre's framework are on the outside.

The intention of the architects was to place the various service elements (electricity, water etc.) outside of the building's framework and therefore turn the building "inside out". The arrangement also allows an uncluttered internal space for the dispay of art works, drawing on ideas promulgated by Cedric Price's Fun Palace project (1964).

The Centre is named after Georges Pompidou, who was president of France from 1969 to 1974, and was opened on January 31, 1977.

Organisationally it is linked to IRCAM.

The Place Georges Pomidou in front of the museum is noted for the presence of street performers such as mimes and jugglers. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centre_Pompidou [Jun 2005]

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