Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris

By: Tatyana Kogut.
French President Georges Pompidou dreamt of a vast cultural centre  a museum and an art school comprising plastic arts and music, cinema, books and audiovisual research. In 1969 architects from 49 countries participated in an architectural design competition. 680 projects were presented. The contest was won by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and the British architect couple Richard Rogers and Sue Rogers. Works to construct the centre took 5 years and finished in 1977. The European house of culture, the artistic cathedral, the cultural supermarket, an eclectostation, Pompidoulium - there are many words the French press called the new center with. An unusual construction symbolized the purpose of the centre  culture mass production and spreading. In contrast to the traditional architecture one can see at the IV arrondissement, the building impresses with its avant-garde forms and scales. Its 42 meters high, 166 meters long and 60 meters wide. It has eight floors, including three underground ones. To leave some space inside the building, all the communication systems were located outside.

This looks fabulous: blue, green and yellow tubes, each with a different function. Centre Georges Pompidou, or simply Beaubourg as the locals call it, is one of the most visited city attractions. The building houses a public library, the Musée National d'Art Moderne, IRCAM - the centre for music and acoustic research headed by Pierre Boulez, a library and art schools for children, cinema and conference halls. The building was renovated in 1999-2000.Musée National d'Art Moderne, or the National Museum for Modern Arts, displays a vast collection of modern arts from 1905 to present days: paintings, sculpture, architecture, design, photography. There are works by the great masters of the 20th century (Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Duchamp, Miró, Giacometti).Bibliothèque publique d'information is the largest library in France. It occupies the third and the second floors of the centre. 2 million books, language laboratories, audiovisual equipment, newspapers and magazines from different world countries. The main entrance to the centre is located at the Place Georges Pompidou. The facade of the building is traversed with a giant glass escalator, which brings you to the upper ground where so that you could enjoy splendid views over Paris: Saint-Jacques Tower, tower of the Notre Dame.. and on the other side there are Montmartre and Basilique du Sacré-CSur. The square in front of the centre is occupied by street actors, musicians and acrobats, just like in the medieval times. The arrondissement contains lots of art galleries, cosy restaurants and souvenir shops also selling photo albumsComputer Technology Articles, postcards and CDs. North from the Centre Georges Pompidou there is the Quartier de l'Horloge (Clock Quarter)  a pedestrian area with numerous art and handicrafts shops. The focus of the Quartier is the giant clock which shows a soldier battling a dragon and other mythical animals.

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