The opening of the center in 1977 caused a big public debate, due to its unusual and strange appearance. Because of its modernist architecture, which was revolutionary and not common at the time, the locals called the center names such as an oil refinery or a textile factory.
As the home of the National Museum of Modern Art, The Pompidou Center contains some of the most interesting collections of contemporary art. From the artworks of the painter Pablo Picasso to the works of Andy Warhol pop art a variety of styles are exhibited here.
In the square at the right near the center, many street performers gather, such as magicians, musicians, fire breathers and other various artists.
The complex also features the famous and entertaining Stravinsky Fountain, where the 16 sculptures represent the works of composer Igor Stravinsky. You will also find a diverse library open to the general public and IRCAM, the Center for Music Research and Acoustics. One of the famous albums created there is “Perfect Stranger” by Frank Zapa. Today, the center deals mainly with computerized music.
The Pompidou Center is well known for Rogers' entire work, which he built together with Italian architect Renzo Piano. The main part of the proposal presented by the architects was the idea that the traditional didactic museum building was no longer suitable for contemporary art, and instead, a special technical structure should be established. Technologically, the structure was designed to provide the effect of exposed steel pipes with cross-tensile rods. Beyond that, the building was equipped with an intensive system of services that could grow and change according to future mechanical demands.
Despite the enormous dimensions of the building, it succeeded in integrating into the existing street system, precisely because it was different from the surrounding landscape. This is an unusual building in many respects: it has no sculptural architecture outside or a space development inside. Even the main staircase, as we know from the architectural world, disappeared here and instead, they built escalators from the subway station, but they were placed outside the building to allow an "architectural tour" in the urban space of Paris.
The center has two unusual fronts:
The public façade has escalators in a glass tube that diagonally ascends along the transparent wall and the back sealed front, which includes the plumbing, air conditioning systems and elevators. All the prominent identity colors of the building are taken from the world of oil refineries and laboratories.
The building made Piano and Rogers become world-class fame architects.
The museum has more than 50,000 works of art of various kinds, including painting, sculpture, drawing and photography. Of which, only about 2,000 are presented to the public. The styles that characterize the works are Fobism, Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.
On the first floor of the building there is a changing exhibit of industrial design, on the second and third floors there is a library with half a million books. On the third and fourth floors is the Museum of Modern Art, the largest of its kind in Europe, where you will find an impressive collection of paintings by Dali, Magritte, Ernest, Rowe, Kandinsky, Matisse, Braque, Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.
In the square in front of the center, there is a lively activity of street artists in the form of silent human statues, imitators and mimes, jugglers, magicians, fire spiders and more.
There is always a large gathering in the entrance plaza, to the delight of tourists looking for attractions and artists collecting pennies.
At the top of the building you will find a luxurious restaurant and an observation deck.
The structure of the center is designed and built in an interesting hi-tech style. Outside hang pipes of its various systems. Each system has a different color according to its function: Blue - air, green - water, yellow - electricity, red - traffic (such as elevators).
Most of the city can be seen from here: the tall Montmartre hill with its white church, "Sacré-Cœur" to the Invalides where Napoleon Bonaparte is buried.
If you are looking to come at opening hours, try getting in line at least half an hour before. There are long lines here, and it's worth it to get here early.
On the sixth floor is a restaurant with a panoramic view that really great.
In the Pompidou Center there is wifi for free - if you need to use wifi, this is a good place to take advantage.
At the square next to the center you can see street performers, and absorb the Parisian air.
It's recommended to go all the way to the top floor of the museum, to the roof, sit by the window and drink a cup of coffee at 'Cafe Beaufort.'