Pompidou Center (Beaubourg - Centre Georges Pompidou)
| ||19 rue Beaubourg|
|District : ||Le Marais|
|Open : ||11.00-22.00 except Tuesdays for the Center,
11.00-21.00 for exhibitions,
11.00-23.00 on Thursdays
Rambuteau, Les Halles
Spoken languages : English, French
Accepted means of payment : Carte Bleue, Cash, MASTERCARD, VISA card
The late French President Georges Pompidou was a great admirer of modern art and wished to see built a large modern art museum and library with free access.
Although he did not appreciate the plan finally selected by jury, he did not oppose the plan. The architects wanted to build a familar structure like a factory, which would be user-friendly and interesting, rather than a cold and intimidating âcultural templeâ.
The main constraint was to create an interieur with no obstructions, thus allowing for total flexibility of use. The architects used this constraint by turning the building âinside outâ: the metallic structures, the various pipes for water (green), heating (red) and ventilation (blue), electricity (yellow) and the huge escalator in its transparent tube are all on the outside.
Completed in 1977, the Pompidou Center has integrated into the more traditional Paris surroundings by respecting the skyline and the contrast made by its shape and colour. It is a modern building, in that its beauty is its shape and modulability and not the decoration, but it contrasts with the concrete buildings of earlier years.
With 25,000 visitors daily (much more than initially predicted and including some needy people during winter), the Center has just been renovated and reorganized. The relocation of the administration to the opposite side of the street has enabled the Modern Art Museum to be doubled in size and the Public Information Library now occupies three floors and has a separate entrance.
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