Centre Pompidou: A History


Centre Pompidou: An Interesting Building for Paris

Right next to Les Halles, a major shopping forum in Paris, near the Marrais, a picturesque neighborhood, stands the austere Centre Pompidou. Named after French President Georges Pompidou, someone who modernized Paris, the building holds a collection of art and literature, as well as a beautiful view of the city. So what makes this interesting looking building so popular and what is the story behind it?

Not loved at first

The Centre Pompidou's architecture is completely different than the architecture of the city. It's metallic, with bright colors, and with piping that makes it look like a ship. It was referred to as a monster by some. But eventually people grew to admire the building, saying that it is an acquired taste.

A View from the Top of the Centre Pompidou

Multicultural complex

In the 1960s, Paris had no major public library. They wanted to build one near Les Halles, the main shopping area, to bring back the glory of the Halles and modernize Paris. Today it has art exhibitions and literature. It has become a multicultural capital of Paris, mostly thanks to Georges Pompidou's vision.

A quick rise to popularity

No one expected the Centre Pompidou to become as popular as is. That popularity began immediately, with people flocking to see the monster, the art, and get their hands on some books. Most of what the building has to offer is free, with the exception of a few art exhibits and the panoramic view of Paris.

Famous foreign architects

The big deal about these architects were that they were not French. The main architects were Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini. Most people were expecting a French architect, but the trio proved good enough for the task. Renzo Piano today is also known for the Shard in London and the Living Roof in San Francisco, among many other accomplishments. So while people were shocked at first, they came to admire the odd designs of the foreigners.

A revolutionary design

The trio of architects built something completely out of the norm for Paris. Their very modern building was considered revolutionary since most buildings around the world were not looking as modern as this. This got the attention of many people, which increased the popularity and the visits of the Centre Pompidou.

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