|Centre Pompidou, Le Forum (2040m2)|
|L'Adieu by Henri Laurens (Terrasse)|
|Woman sculpture on Terrasse|
|Composition With Two Parrots by Fernand Leger 1935-39.|
|Identité by Piotr Kowalski|
The Centre national d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou was the brainchild of President Georges Pompidou who wanted to create an original cultural institution in the heart of Paris completely focused on modern and contemporary creation, where the visual arts would rub shoulders with theatre, music, cinema, literature and the spoken word. Housed in the centre of Paris in a building designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, whose architecture symbolises the spirit of the 20th century, the Centre Pompidou first opened its doors to the public in 1977. After renovation work from 1997 to December 1999, it opened to the public again on 1 January 2000, with expanded museum space and enhanced reception areas. Since then it has once again become one of the most visited attractions in France. Some 6 million people pass through the Centre Pompidou's doors each year, a total of over 190 million visitors in its 30 years of existence.
Under the rules of the competition, the architectural project had to meet the criteria of interdisciplinarity, freedom of movement and flow, and an open approach to exhibition areas. The competition was won by two young architects: the Italian Renzo Piano and British designer Richard Rogers who proposed a constraint-free architecture in the spirit of the 1960s. The supporting structure and movement and flow systems, such as the escalators, were relegated to the outside of the building, thereby freeing up interior space for museum and activity areas. Colour-coded ducts are attached to the building's west façade, as a kind of wrapping for the structure: blue for air, green for fluids, yellow for electricity cables and red for movement and flow. The transparency of the west main façade allows people to see what is going on inside the centre from the piazza, a vast esplanade that the architects conceived of as an area of continuity, linking the city and the centre. The centre quickly fell victim to the unexpected scale of its success. With some seven million visitors per year, the building aged prematurely and had to close in October 1997 for 27 months. During this time 70,000 m² were renovated and 8,000 m² added, mainly to display collections. This was possible by relocating the offices outside the centre. When it reopened on 1 January 2000, the centre was an immediate, overwhelming public success again, testifying to the public's inseparable attachment to the site and its spirit. [Centre Pompidou]