The Centre Georges Pompidou (Center national d’art et de culture Georges-Pompidou) is a complex was named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974, who commissioned the construction. In it are the Musée National d’Art Moderne, the Bibliothèque publique d’information (public information library), IRCAM, a center for music and acoustic research, among other cultural equipment.
The Atelier Brâncuşi which houses sculptures by the Romanian artist Constantin Brâncuşi in an environment that recreates the working conditions and the luminosity of his creative studio was also annexed to the center.
It is located in the Beauborg area, in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, close to Les Halles, an underground mall connected to the metro and Rue de Rivoli, a shopping street whose shops include some of the most elegant brands in the world. Because of its location the Center Georges Pompidou is known locally as Beauborg only.
It was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and the British architect (also born in Italy) Richard Rogers. The project was considered extremely bold, being inserted at a time of crisis of modern architecture, although it has been much criticized. Some theorists claim that the Center (both its architecture and its proposal) is one of the marks of the beginning of postmodernity in the arts. Its implementation configures the existence of a public space (the center square) for which its internal activities extend.
This is one of the main examples of high-tech architecture – a trend of the 1970s that continues to be observed today, inspired by industrial architecture and new technologies. The high tech architecture uses the technological elements as aesthetic objects. At the Pompidou Center, this can be seen on large apparent pipes (air conditioning ducts and other services), on external escalators and on the steel structural system.
It is one of the most visited places in Paris. In the downtown library there is a vast collection of books, free internet access, newspapers and magazines from all over the world and televisions with international channels.