Segments in this Video

Conception of the Georges Pompidou Center (01:17)


In 1969, French President, Georges Pompidou, called for a modern cultural center to include a modern art museum, public library, design center and institute of contemporary music.

Design Competition (01:44)

A jury of 3 renowned architects determined the winners of the architectural competition to design the center, Richard Rogers, English, and the Italian, Renzo Piano.

Shocking Parisian Sensibilities (02:20)

The colored metal structure shocked Parisians where concrete prevailed. Car park and concert halls are underground, housed in the concrete foundation.

Visible Metal Framework (02:22)

Above ground, the structure is composed of steel columns joined by a crossbeam, repeated in a visible metal framework. British engineer Peter Rice insured the balance of the crossbeams.

Transparency and Mass in Building (02:38)

The building's facades are glass that reflects and absorbs the city. The functional parts are on the outside; walkways and the escalator are superimposed on the exterior.

Playful Efficiency (01:58)

The eastern street side displays the loading elevators, air conditioning ducts, and electric cables- appropriately colored blue, green, yellow and red.

Flexible Empty Spaces (03:30)

Retractable fire screens protect the empty spaces inside the 5 floor structure; the empty space allows for different uses. Only the toilets and portable offices are enclosed.

Administrative Spaces and the Information (01:34)

Partitions enclose administrative spaces, but the Institute of Musical Research had to relocate under a fountain. The Public Information Library spans three levels.

Modern Art Collection (01:27)

The Permanent Collection of Modern Art on the top level suffered the effects of natural sunlight and Gae Aulenti was called in to build a museum inside the Pompidou Center.

Paris Landmark (01:49)

The Pompidou Center is a recognizable landmark in the center of the Capital. It rises above rooftops with four facades; the forecourt is the real urban space.

Forecourt (03:34)

The large, empty forecourt echoes the Italian piazza. Parisian weather brought the entrance area inside the building. The exterior walkways and escalator are free for viewing the city.

City Attraction (00:56)

Twenty-five people per day visit the Pompidou Center, surpassing the dreams of Georges Pompidou and all other tourist attractions, but it must undergo renovations.

Credits: The Georges Pompidou Centre: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture (00:59)

Credits: The Georges Pompidou Centre: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture

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The Georges Pompidou Centre: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture

Part of the Series : Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $149.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $224.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $149.95



Richard Rogers' and Renzo Piano's winning design for the Pompidou Centre looks like an outsize meccano structure, and contrasts sharply with the surrounding Parisian architecture. The architectural project as set out in the competition rules had to meet criteria of interdisciplinarity, freedom of movement & flow and an open approach to exhibition areas. The competition was won by two young architects: Italian Renzo Piano and British designer Richard Rogers. This film explores the center's interior space, west facade, technical ducting, and the outside-looking-in approach that links the city and center.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL65328

ISBN: 978-1-60057-641-6

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.