Centre Pompidou (Pompidou
19 rue Beaubourg
Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers
The Centre Pompidou is something
of a victim of its own success. It was much criticized for requiring
temporary closure for a major renovation after only twenty years' service,
but this is at least mitigated by the volume of people it has been required
to host: over 25,000 per day, compared with the 5,000 anticipated. And if
its massive, brightly colored, maverick form looks less radical today,
that's because of how much its revolutionary hi-tech construction has been
copied and extended.
The Centre Pompidou broke the
mold with its 'inside out' construction: the steel skeleton from which the
floors are suspended dominantly visible from the outside, together with
the giant external escalators, with the color-coded service ducts exposed
on both the inside and out. Now that the fact of these appearances is no
longer shocking, attention focus on how they are done.
Twenty years, on the escalator remains a phenomenon, and the plaza
continues to thrive, but the exhibition spaces themselves, and the rather
dry, regular block shape of the overall building, are beginning to come
across as almost a little dull.
Simon Glynn 2001
How to visit
the plaza, place Georges-Pompidou (but still known by its previous name,
place Beaubourg). To get there, take the Metro to Rambuteau
(line 11) or Hôtel de Ville (lines 1 and 11); or take the RER
(suburban train) to Châtelet/Les Halles.
There is paid
parking in both rue Beaubourg and rue des Halles.
information, including opening times, is available in English at the web
site of the Centre national d'art et de culture at www.cnac-gp.fr.
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