Centre Pompidou

Centre Georges Pompidou or simple the Pompidou Centre is a building complex in Paris which is home to the National Museum of Modern Art. Standing at 42m and with a length of 166m and a width of 60m, the Pompidou Centre is a colossal structure with a revolutionary design that is as ornamental as it is functional. It is the largest museum for modern art not only in Paris and France, but also continental Europe. Given its high-tech architecture and artistic exhibitions, the Centre Pompidou is one of the most visited places in Paris.

The Centre was constructed between 1971 and 1977, and a competition was held with the winning architects designing the building and overseeing the entire project. This was after the then president Georges Pompidou inspired the idea of having a new complex dedicated to modern art. This later resulted to the construction of the Centre, which he also gave his name to. The design was a post-modern one, and a bold one at that. For an arrondissement and by extension a city that cherishes its traditional architectural styles from gothic, renaissance to classical and neoclassical, the concept of building a big modern complex was not appealing to many. That was until the building was completed. The buildings elements that range from escalators, air conditioning and plumbing are placed on the outside with a specific color being designated to represent each. This not only creates more interior space for housing the exhibitions, it increases the amount of usable interior area, and creates a complex looking exterior that is revolutionary.

The Centre Pompidou’s Musee National d’Art Moderne or National Museum for Modern Arts has a wide collection of modern paintings and work of arts from the 1900 (beginning in 1905) and some of them belong to the most notable artists such as Pablo Picasso, Pollock, and Max Ernst among others. The number of artworks stands at around 59000. The works are distributed among the floors with the permanent collections of the museums taking up the 4th and 5th floors. The Centre Pompidou also has a huge public library or Bibliotheque publique d’information, with a large collection of books, magazines, journals, literary works and newspapers from across the planet.

In front of the Centre, the Place Georges Pompidou is always full of activity. On the average day, street performers ranging from mimes to jugglers entertain the assortment of visitors that come to see the Centre. The square is busier during the spring time when small carnivals are set up. Next to the Centre is Place Stravinsky, so named because of the Stravinsky Fountain, a modern creation with sixteen sculptural works with moving water.

The Pompidou Centre provides a modern insight into a city that upholds its tradition. The buildings magnificent architecture is captivating and rare, and the allure of artworks housed in the National Museum is bound to impress any lover of art. It is one of the most important museums to visit if museum tours are what attract you to the City of Light.