It was announced as a “total renovation”, which will affect the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris from 2023, forcing the museum to shut down its doors to visitors for over three years. A drastic but necessary decision for the visionary building, inaugurated in 1977 on a project by architects Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini, which over the decades has become one of the primary art destinations of international tourism, largest collection of modern art in Europe’s venue.
The Beaubourg was conceived with the revolutionary intention of creating an “anti elite museum”, marked by the total opening to the city symbolized by those green, yellow and white pipes and by the escalator in the foreground on the facade. However, its structure now bears visible signs of time: among the inteventions, therefore, are planned the total removal of asbestos and a complete renovation to adapt the building to safety and accessibility parameters, for a cost of about 200 million euro. The reopening of the Pompidou will take place in 2027, in time to properly celebrate 50 years of history.
A targeted intervention, “so that the Centre Pompidou could always remain this visionary project, utopian and without equivalent in the world”, according to the President Serge Lasvignes. During the closing period cultural activities will continue in alternative ways. The Bibliothèque publique d'information (BPI) will remain accessible and will be transferred to a temporary office in Paris to ensure the continuity of the service.
Opening image: Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, 1977. Photo Katsuhisa Kida, courtesy rshp.