The Pompidou Centre Anniversary

The Pompidou Centre arrived on the Parisian cultural stage 40 years ago and mouths have been agape ever since. You either love it or hate the “inside out” building.

Image result for Pompidou centre

For its anniversary, Pompidou is about to get a very expensive facelift. Kim Willshire writes for the Guardian

The anniversary is to be celebrated with preparations for a two-year facelift expected to cost at least €100m. But architectural traditionalists hoping for a more sober, conventional look will be disappointed. According to plans disclosed to the Observer, the refurbished building, once described as resembling an oil refinery, will look just as inside-out as ever.

You might be surprised how the design came about

Piano and Rogers, young and unknown in 1977, intentionally created something extraordinary on the assumption that they stood no chance of winning a building design competition that had attracted more than 600 international entries.

The design reflects a peculiar sort of French cultural militancy. And as such, it deserves is central spot, don’t you think?

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2 thoughts on “The Pompidou Centre Anniversary”

  1. I don’t like the Pompidou Centre — not because it is edgy or too different. but because functionally it is cold and confusing. And not a great exhibition space either. And I bet the maintenance is just as costly and complicated as any building of that size and use. Architectural critics of the building back in the ’70’s (I was living in Paris then) were dismissed as fusty and out-of-date. But the Pompidou is not like the Eiffel Tower, a triumph that was originally disparaged. The aesthetics are fine, but it misses the functional mark.

  2. Heehee – well said! There is no question about the non-funcitonality of the centre. The space does not work better than a more traditional building, and the building costs far more to keep going (the facelift will be enormously expensive). Mies would have taken it as an architectural joke. And perhaps that is the point. It survives as humor?

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