Centre Pompidou

Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Paris, 1977


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View north up the Rue du Renard showing the east facade of the Centre Pompidou with all the services exposed 

Martin Charles     Download Original

  • View north up the Rue du Renard showing the east facade of the Centre Pompidou with all the services exposed    
  • On the Marais side the east facade with its exposed services is glimpsed in small sections from side streets    
  • Centre Pompidou by Piano and Rogers    
  • The Centre Pompidou seen at night from the Rue Rambuteau with the Church of St. Merri in the background    
  • The public square and west facade with its external escalators and connecting galleries acting as vertical extension of the square    
  • The short north end of the building with a view down the Rue du Renard    
  • North view    
  • Centre Pompidou by Piano and Rogers    
  • Exposed services on the east facade showing the air-handling units on the roof and the blue air-conditioning duct from them    
  • Water filled columns, 900mm in diameter, are the main supporting elements     
  • The main entrance hall and reception area; the escalators lead to the north mezzanine which houses the Centre de la Creation Industrielle    
  • The sunken main entrance hall    
  • The public reference library occupies parts of the first, second and third floors which are connected internally by escalators    
  • The reference library underneath the north mezzanine on the ground floor    
  • The forum is in a sunken area open to the ground floor south mezzanine    
  • The multipurpose auditorium at the south end of the basement floor    
  • Part of the Musee d    
  • View south from the Musee d    
  • The connecting galleries on the west facade are transparent tunnels of steel framing and glass    
  • Looking down the escalator on the west facade    
  • The terrace of the Musee d    
  • Detail of glass vaulting to the connecting galleries on the west facade    
  • Location plan    
  • Site plan    
  • Lower ground floor plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Typical upper floor plan    
  • Section through main event area    
  • Longitudinal section through the public square    
  • Cross section showing the Centre in relation to existing streets and buildings    
  • Site plan hand sketch    
  • Detailed plan and section through east front showing the services    
  • Details of gerberette    
  • Detail plan and section of gerberette    
  • Detailed section through west front showing the external escalators, the horizontal connecting galleries and the curtain wall    

Art gallery with open flexible interior spaces formed as the structure, services and circulation including escalators are proudly displayed on the exterior of the building

The lower level of Centre Pompidou contains the large public areas such as the theatre, shops, reception and café at street level. Above, open floors house galleries, outdoor terraces and administrative areas. The top floor accommodates a restaurant, an experimental cinema and temporary exhibitions, all of which are open late at night.

Half the site was not built on, allowing for a square of civic proportions, to be used for a wide variety of public uses including markets, exhibitions, performers, games and buskers.

Facing the square, the west façade is given over to vertical and horizontal movement, taking advantage of spectacular views over Paris. Circulation devices - escalators, lifts, escape stairs, galleries and corridors - are all expressed on the building's exterior.

The building can be altered in plan, section and elevation to suit changing requirements over the building's life. Flexibility is extended to every component of the building, from large clip-on elements that attach to the main façade, to interior partitions and services.


  • Begun: 1971
  • Completed: 1977
  • Floor area: 100,000m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £58.8M
  • Address: Place Georges Pompidou, Paris, 48110, France

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