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Centre Georges Pompidou

The Pompidou Centre's famous external skeleton of service pipes.

The Centre Georges Pompidou is a building in the Beaubourg area of Paris, near Les Halles and the Marais. Designed by Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini, it houses the Musée National d'Art Moderne. Some of the art movements represented are Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. The museum has 45,000 works of art, including painting, sculpture, drawing,and photography.

The structure is very distinctive: it has been described by critics as "an oil refinery in the centre of the city". The coloured external piping is the special feature of the building. Air conditioning ducts are blue, water pipes are green and electricity lines are yellow. Escalators are red. White ducts are ventilation shafts for the underground areas. Even the steel beams that make up the Pompidou Centre's framework are on the outside.

The intention of the architects was to place the various service elements (electricity, water etc.) outside of the building's framework and therefore turn the building "inside out". The arrangement also allows an uncluttered internal space for the dispay of art works.

The Centre is named after Georges Pompidou, who was president of France from 1969 to 1974, and was opened in 1977.

Organisationally it is linked to IRCAM.

The plaza in front of the building is noted for the presence of street acts such as mimes and jugglers.

Public transport: metro Rambuteau, Les Halles, RER Chatelet-les-Halles.

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