Pompidou Center is a modern art and cultural center opened in 1977 in Paris. There is a large library inside. It is one of the leading steps of modernization in Paris and one of the most important examples of high-tech architectural movement.
When opened, it had a view that was contrary to the city structure of Paris. The people of Paris, who had reacted to the Eiffel Tower about 100 years ago, understood that some modern touches would not be too bad in these 100 years. George Pompidou, the president of France at the time, was a cultured and visionary man. He made many works for the modernization of Paris. This center was one of them. The competition was opened at his special request. Competition juries were Oscar Niemeyer, Jean Prouvé and Philip Johnson.
Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano were two unknown architects. There were hundreds of participants and the jury was highly qualified. Although the design of these two architects seems to be opposite to the urban fabric, in fact some important decisions were very modern and future-oriented. The entire building consisted of a steel frame. Almost everything was steel, except concrete slabs and dividers. Therefore, the building could be renewed and replaced. It was very consistent with the term sustainability that we now hear a lot in architecture. The rear façade of the building contained the installation’s electrical ventilation systems. Each system was colored in a different color so that it could be easily removed during renovation work. The plumbing pipes were green, the yellow cables were electrical, the ventilation was blue, the security elements were red.
The interior of the building was mostly composed of free and convertible spaces. The floors also represented different functions. Escalators are the main circulating element in which we can go upwards in a tube from the outside. Steel structure surrounds the outside of the building.
“Where you find everything.”
Yes, these reasons differentiated the project from other projects, but in fact there was another great reason for choosing the project. This was the decision to settle half of the project area. They left the remaining half as open space for society. This was very important for a dense urban fabric. Renzo Piano has commented for the Centre as “not a building but a town where you find everything – lunch, great art, a library, great music.”
When it was first opened, it was opened under the name of Center Beaubourg by taking the name of its region. Later, after the death of George Pompidou, the center of modern culture and art, it was named Pompidou Center.
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