Pompidou is named after the 1969 French President Georges Pompidou. He launched the idea of creating a new cultural institution in Paris dedicated to modern art. This new cultural center fascinated 650 admissions on its 1971 competition. Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano and Gianfranco Franchini submitted their architectural winning project. It was fascinating for it made practical elements such as escalators, air conditioning and water pipes to the outside of the building which resulted to a more spacious inner space for the exhibition of art works.
The construction of the glass and metal building located their neighbourhood ran into a lot of disagreement from people who disliked the idea of an ‘oil refinery’ in a historic district. But when the museum opened in December 1977, it became an instant success. Originally designed to accommodate some 5,000 visitors per day, the Centre Pompidou has been accepting over 25,000 visitors per day making it one of the most visited attractions in Paris.
The Centre Pompidou is home to one of the world’s most important museums of modern art. The Public Information Library or BPI holds a huge collection of books, magazines and a large number of new media items. The library occupies the first three floors of the building, while the museum’s permanent collection is located on the 4th and 5th floors. The first and top floors are used for large exhibitions. The museum has one of the most important collections of modern art. The 4th floor contains works from 1905 to 1965 and covers art movements such as fauvism, abstract art, surrealism and cubist art. Artists like Matisse, Kadinsky, Miró and Picasso are just some of the featured there. The 5th floor covers the period after 1965, including the pop-art movement and figurative art.
The well-known “Place Georges Pompidou” or “Place Beauborg” is located in front of the Centre Pompidou with large crowds that are energized by the presentation of mimes, street portraitists and other entertainers. Located in the right of the square of Centre Pompidou is the first modern fountain in Paris. The fountain has numerous dynamic statues which were designed by Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely. This is another way of seeing some contemporary art without having to go inside the museum.