“On the Piazza side, and outside the usable volume, all public movement facilities have been centrifuged. On the opposite side, all the technical equipment and pipelines have been centrifuged. Each floor is thus completely free and it can be used for all forms of cultural activities- both known and yet to be discovered.”
Renzo Piano, architect of the Centre Pompidou
Designed as an “evolving spatial diagram” by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the architecture of the Centre Pompidou boasts a series of technical characteristics that make it unique in the world – the inspiration, even the prototype, of a new generation of museums and cultural centres. It is distinctive firstly in the way it frees up the space inside, with each floor extending through the building entirely uninterrupted by load-bearing structures. The whole of each 7 500 m2 floor is thus available for the display of works or other activities, and can be divided up and reorganised at will, ensuring maximum flexibility. With its use of steel (15 000 tons) and glass (11 000 m²) and the externalisation of its load-bearing structure together with circulation and services, it was a truly pioneering building for its time, an heir to the great iron buildings of the Industrial Age. In many ways futuristic, the Centre Pompidou is heir to the architectural utopias of the 1960s, exemplified in the work of Archigram and Superstudio. Its innovative, even revolutionary character has made the Centre Pompidou one of the most emblematic buildings of the 20th century.
One of the distinctive features of the Centre Pompidou is the striking presence of colour. Four strong colours – blue, red, yellow and green – clothe the structure and enliven the façade, their use governed by a code laid down by the architects:
To find out more, see information pack on the architecture of the building.