Centre Pompidou, also known as the Beaubourg, is a cultural centre and an interesting architectural achievement itself. Opened in 1977, it houses a great public library, National Museum of Modern Art, IRCAM – a centre for music and acoustic research, and a cinema. The adjoining Place Georges Pompidou is a favourite spot among street performers.
The Library provides access to a variety of up-to-date sources of knowledge, offering printed, digital, visual and audio materials. Visitors can consult all of these documents on the spot, free of charge and with little difficulty.
Musée National d’Art Moderne (National Museum of Modern Art) has the second largest collection of modern and contemporary art in the world, with more than 70,000 works including painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, cinema, new media and design.
Designed by an international team of architects and structural engineers, the Centre Pompidou proved revolutionary and received widespread acclamation. Its exposed skeleton of colour-coded structural elements of the building served both aesthetic and applied purposes. Its floor area is more than 100,000m2. Impressive, isn’t it?
Opened in 1977, IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) is a research facility for music and sound, especially avant garde electroacoustical music. It trains composers in the latest music technology and documents contemporary classical music. It also has an extensive library.
The cinema shows a variety of artistic or documentary films, including special screenings for children. For current programme, see the website: http://www.centrepompidou.fr/ (available only in French).
Constantin Brâncuși, a sculptor of Romanian descent who worked in France and was a pioneer in abstract sculpture, bequeathed his studio and all its contents to the French government, with the reservation that it be recreated by Musée National d’Art Moderne. It was faithfully and painstakingly reconstituted on one side of the Place Georges Pompidou.
Musée National d’Art Moderne was created in 1947 in the Palais de Tokyo and moved to its current location in 1977. Its 14,000-square-metre space is divided between two floors and two collections: modern art (1905-1960) and contemporary art (from 1960). The museum owns works by, among others, Matisse, Braque, Picasso, Nolde, Kokoschka, Schwitters, Duchamp, Chagall, Mondrian, Klee, Kandinsky, Malevich, Modigliani, Starck, Nouvel and Perrault.