Centre Pompidou

The site for the Centre Pompidou is located in the centre of Paris, within one kilometre of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre Museum, on the edge of a densely populated medieval quarter Les Halles, the famous inner city market nearby, later to be demolished. To the east, the Marais was rundown and in need of regeneration. In the midst of this, the Centre Pompidou, was planned as a key connection in the renewal of the historic heart of the capital. In 1970, an international competition was announced for the design of an arts centre, which would include a library, modern art museum, a centre for industrial design, and a music research centre.

The competition, which attracted 681 entries, was won by the Piano + Rogers team, who described it as ‘a live centre for information, entertainment and culture’. The building would be a place for all people, the young and the old, the poor and the rich, all creeds and nationalities – a cross between New York’s Times Square and London’s British Museum.  The design described a building that would be a highly serviced flexible container and a dynamic communications machine. The competition response broadened the interpretation of the brief, while keeping intact the specific needs of the institution. In doing so, the architects envisioned a centre that would not only cater to the specialist, but also to tourists and locals, giving them a truly dynamic meeting place where activities would overlap in flexible, well-serviced spaces. The Centre Pompidou was to be ‘a people’s centre, a university of the street, reflecting the constantly changing needs of the users’.

Awards
International Union of Architects August Perret Prize for most outstanding international work 1975 - 1978
   
Project data
   
Location Paris, France
Type Culture & Leisure
Dates 1971 - 1977
   
Area
   
Gross Internal Area 100,000m²
   
Number of Floors 6
   
Costs
   
Construction Cost £58,800,000
   
Client Ministére des Affaires Culturelles /
  Ministére de l'Education Nationale
   
The Architect Piano + Rogers
   
Team  
Partners in Charge: Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers
Competition: Sally Appleby, Peter Flack, Gianfranco Franchini, Marco Goldschmied, Jan Kaplicky, Su Rogers, John Young
   
Collaborators  
Ken Allinson, William Carmen, Chris Dawson, Tony Dugdale, Alphons Oberhofer, Judith Raymond, Martin Richardson, Philippe Robert
   
Administration  
Francoise Gouinguenet, Claudette Spielmann, Colette Valensi
   
Environment and Piazza Cuno Brullmann
Scenographic Spaces  
   
Facade Engineer Eric Holt with Michael Davies, Jan Sircus
   
Furniture Systems John Young with Francois Barat, Helen Diebold, Jacques Fendard, Jean Huc, Helga Schlegel
   
Graphic Design VDA Group
   
Interior Design Gianfranco Franchini
   
Internal and External Systems / Audio Visual Alan Stanton with Michael Dowd, William Logan, Noriaki Okabe, Rainer Verbizh
   
Main Contractor Grands Travaux de Marseilles
   
Mechanical Engineer: Walter Zbinden with Hans-Peter Bysaeth, Johanna Lohse, Peter Merz, Philippe Dupont
   
Mechanical Services and Superstructure Laurie Abbott with Shunji Ishida, Hiroshi Naruse, Hiroyuki Takahashi
   
Quantity Surveyor Ove Arup & Partners
   
Services Engineer Ove Arup & Partners
   
Site Management Bernard Plattner
   
Structural Engineer Ove Arup & Partners