Centre George Pompidou

Centre George Pompidou, Paris, France, Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano
Construction year: 1976
Address: 19,rue Beaubourg,place George Pompidou,4th Arrondissement,Paris | PARIS | France | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 48.8609, 2.3533

In 1970 an international architectural competition was launched. It was based on a programme aimed at achieving the objectives set by President Georges Pompidou and drawn up by the Sébastien Loste team. Chaired by the internationally renowned architect Jean Prouvé, the prize-winners selected by the jury were Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini, assisted by Ove Arup & Partners. The Centre Pompidou construction office, called Etablissement public constructeur du Centre Beaubourg, was set up at the end of 1971, through a decree by the Ministry for the Arts and Culture. Robert Bordaz was appointed as its chairman.


Construction work started in April 1972 and work on the metal framework was begun in September 1974. At the same time, the centre’s future institutions were defined. In July 1972, the Centre de création industrielle became part of the Centre Pompidou. In 1974, it was proposed to transfer the collections from the Musée national d’art moderne in Avenue Président Wilson.

Building Design

The centre’s architects, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini designed the building on the lines of an “evolving spatial diagram”. The building was designed in two parts:
1. a 3-level infrastructure housing the technical facilities and service areas,
2. a vast 7-level glass and steel superstructure, including a terrace and mezzanine floor, concentrating most of the centre’s areas of activity together, except for Ircam which is in Place Stravinsky.

The Centre Pompidou’s designers aimed to maximise spatial movement and flow to foster an interdisciplinary approach.

Building Structure

The metal framework has 14 porticos with 13 bays, each spanning 48 m and standing 12.8 m apart. On top of the posts, on each level, are moulded steel beam hangers, measuring 8 m in length and weighing 10 tonnes. 45 m long girders rest on the beam hangars, which spread stress through the posts and are balanced by tie-beams anchored on cross-bars. Each storey is 7 m high floor-to-floor. The glass and steel superstructure envelops the free open spaces.

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