Pompidou Center or Pompidou Cultural Centre, located in Paris, is design of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers and one of the most important structure of the city and architectural heritage. To find a good design for this structure, a competition was made by the president of France George Pompidou in 1971. Two young architects still be mentioned thanks to this project selected for first prize. The fact that some super quality architects like Oscar Niemeyer were in the jury team of the competition was shadowing out us the quality of the project that will have designed indeed.
Steel and glass, the main materials of the building, have integrated in harmony with the service and circulation elements which clearly visible from outside of the building. All of the architectural and structural elements have been positioned in the outside of the Pompidou Center such as circulation and ventilation pipes, lifts, moving staircases going to the top floor. These elements were transformed to modern and aesthetic elements decorating the facade by using beyond their functions. The aesthetic understanding of the modern architecture is to bring technologies, materials and construction types into the forefront. That effect on the building was wanted to be exhibited on the facade as a fragment of the future’s architecture, so to speak.
Structural Setup of the Pompidou Center
The building is like a huge outdoor museum consisting of 10 storeys, 3 of which are located underfloor. The 48 meters span was passed with steel beams and the duo of Renzo Piano-Richard Rogers have used the structural steel as a building block of the architecture. Besides, they did not put any column when that 48 meters span was passed and this have provided an opportunity to create free spaces inside. It’s known that 15 thousands tone of steel have been used in the structure of Pompidou Cultural Center spreading area of 100.000 square meters.
Much as the structure have faced heavy criticism not only in the period it was built but also nowadays, it is regarded as one of the most important examples of high tech architecture and brutalism. Pompidou Cultural Center carries same features with another brutalist building Le Corbusier’s Unite d’Habitation thanks to these brave and lead attitudes, perhaps. These two architectural building went down in architectural history and have led to architecture with their ideas which ahead of the time. To get more information about the brutalism, you can read our article Brutalism Movement in Architecture.
Centre Pompidou is used as library nowadays. The biggest reason behind the changability of Pompidou’s function easily and the success on this issue is that Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers designed the structure eligibly for free plan setup and function changing. In the same time, there are The National Art Museum, the biggest modern art museum of Europe, and center of music researches in the building. Maybe for this reason calling the structure only as Pompidou Center is enough.
The Pompidou Center have hosted about 200 millions guests and continue to host averagely 3.7 millions guests every year.