5 facts about the construction of the Pompidou Centre


Learn five facts about the construction of the Pompidou Centre, one of the world’s most dynamic contemporary art centres !

#1

In the 19th century the area of Beaubourg was considered “the number one undesirable island of Paris”. The buildings were substandard, evacuations were non-existant and illness was frequent.

picture of a Parisian street
Charles Marville, Rue Beaubourg, 1866

#2

At the beginning of the 20th century this area in the heart of Paris seemed abandoned. From an absolute wasteland it became a parking area for the users of Les Halles.

Pompidou Center
Parking before the construction of the Pompidou Center, 1967

#3

During the 1960s President Georges Pompidou launched a major project for the Pompidou Centre as a contemporary arts venue to develop French culture and art. The area of Beaubourg was chosen as the available space and locality was suitable for this important project.

Building site of the Pompidou Center, 1972
Building site of the Pompidou Center, 1972

#4

681 architectural plans were suggested. Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers were picked by the judges as the winners. The model of the project caused surprise and was not unanimously approved. Eventually it became an ultra-modern building, the front of the building overlooking pipeworks and the rooftop overlooking Paris. A very innovative project for the time.

The two Architects, Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, 1977
The two Architects, Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, 1977

#5

Pompidou wanted this museum to be a multi-cultural centre where different forms of art could be experienced and found. On the other hand, the library played an important role. It allowed readers and students to work in ideal surroundings in touch with the arts.

Centre Pompidou photographed by Amelie-Dupont
Centre Pompidou photographed by Amelie-Dupont

Today the Pompidou Centre offers a specialized selection of contemporary art and is one of the most dynamic museums in the world.

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