Centre Pompidou, which opened in 1977 and houses Europe’s largest best collection of modern and contemporary art, has been a source of wonder and joy for art lovers and curious onlookers ever since. Don’t miss the amazing view of Paris from the top of the building.
Famous for its external escalators and huge colored tubes, the Centre Pompidou was built by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers and opened in 1977. It is known for housing the National Museum of Modern Art, which has a world-class collection of art from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Iconic painters’ works are divided into two time periods: the modern era (1905-1960), which includes the works of Matisse, Picasso, and Dubuffet, and the contemporary era (1960-present), which includes the works of Andy Warhol, Niki de Saint Phalle, Anish Kapoor, and many more.
In addition to its fascinating permanent collections, the museum hosts annual exhibitions by world-renowned artists on its penthouse level, from where visitors may take in a stunning panorama of Paris.
The museum has everything a visitor may want for a nice half-day, or even full-day, visit, including a restaurant, Le Georges, a public information library, and a gift store. The Atelier Brancusi, located at the base of the Centre, showcases a one-of-a-kind collection of works by this influential figure in modern sculpture art.
Highlights of the Centre Pompidou
The primary attraction is the Musée National d’Art Moderne, which houses a small portion of the more than 100,000 items that make up the French national collection of art from 1905 and after, including examples of Fauvism, cubism, surrealism, pop art, and current creations. You may find it between floors 4 and 5.
The permanent exhibit rotates every two years but otherwise retains its original design. Artists that were active roughly between 1905 and 1970 are shown on the fifth floor. Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Kandinsky, Arbus, Warhol, Pollock, and Rothko are all represented here.
Large-scale paintings, installations, sculptures, and videos from the 1990s and later take center stage on the fourth level. The works of modern artists, architects, and designers are highlighted as well.
The large Bibliothèque Publique d’Information (public library) is accessible via the rue du Renard entrance and spans the whole second and third floors. The sixth story is home to the restaurant Georges and two galleries housing temporary exhibitions.
On the ground level and in the basement, you’ll find theaters and additional exhibition space. In the western part of the city, you may find buskers, musicians, jugglers, and mime artists performing at place Georges Pompidou and the surrounding pedestrian streets.
Fanciful robotic fountains of skeletons, hearts, treble clefs, and a large pair of ruby-red lips were designed by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle and may be seen south of the center on place Igor Stravinsky.
History of the Centre Pompidou
French President Charles de Gaulle initially proposed the idea of constructing a free public library on the Plateau Beaubourg in central Paris, close to Les Halles and the Marais, back in 1968. A year later, Georges Pompidou, the new French president, declared that a museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art would be housed in the Beaubourg building.
Designs for the new Centre Georges Pompidou were solicited from architects all around the world. The winning design, which was chosen from 680 submissions, was a collaboration between Italian architect Renzo Piano, Italian-British architect Richard Rogers, and British designer Su Rogers.
Opening to the public in 1977. In 1997, construction began on extensive modifications that would last until the year 2000.
The Musée National d’Art Moderne is one of the most visited museums in France due to its permanent collection and world-famous temporary exhibitions, which feature works by such artists as Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Wassily Kandinsky, Salvador Dal, and Henri Matisse.
In 2010, Le Centre Pompidou inaugurated a second location in the French city of Metz.
The unique Architectural design of The Centre Pompidou
The Pompidou Centre, often known as Le Centre Pompidou, is a famous monument in Paris that was constructed in the 20th century. These are only a few of the building’s most striking characteristics.
The rectangular pyramid form of Le Centre Pompidou is comprised of glass panels and steel pipes, which together constitute the exoskeleton of the building. The upper floors of the skyscraper, which are fully transparent, provide stunning views of Paris’s fourth arrondissement.
Building systems such as HVAC, electrical, water, elevators, and escalators are exposed on the building’s outside via color-coded pipes for ease of maintenance as part of an “inside-out” design.
Pipes used for plumbing are painted green, those used for electricity are painted yellow, those used for transportation are painted red, and those used for temperature control are colored blue. Because of this, the whole interior of the structure may now be used for its intended purposes.
Each of the building’s six stories is a 7,000-square-foot plateau that can be reconfigured to meet a variety of requirements thanks to the building’s flexible design. This idea was revolutionary for the National Museum of Modern Art since it meant that the museum’s purpose could inform the building’s architecture rather than the other way around.
The long escalator tube that cuts diagonally over the building’s face from the ground level to the top floor is known as “the caterpillar,” and is the building’s most distinctive external feature. The complicated industrial appearance of the building’s façade is simplified by just one basic geometric oddity.
The piazza is a large open public space in front of the Centre Pompidou that serves as the building’s primary entrance. Given its location in a congested metropolitan environment, the Centre Pompidou makes great use of its connection to the surrounding public space.
The national modern art gallery, the library, and many cultural performances and events may all be found in Le Centre Pompidou, a state-of-the-art structure in Paris. Find out more about this must-see attraction for any visitor to Paris in this article.
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