Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Centre Georges Pompidou - Beaubourg

The Centre national d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou was the brainchild of President Georges Pompidou who wanted to create an original cultural institution in the heart of Paris completely focused on modern and contemporary creation, where the visual arts would rub shoulders with theatre, music, cinema, literature and the spoken word. Housed in the centre of Paris in a building designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini, whose architecture symbolises the spirit of the 20th century, the Centre Pompidou first opened its doors to the public in 1977. After renovation work from 1997 to December 1999, it opened to the public again on 1 January 2000, with expanded museum space and enhanced reception areas. Since then it has once again become one of the most visited attractions in France. Some 6 million people pass through the Centre Pompidou's doors each year, a total of over 190 million visitors in its 30 years of existence.

 The Centre Georges Pompidou  is a building in the Beaubourg area of the IVe arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles and the Marais. It houses the Bibliothèque publique d'information, a vast public library, and the Musée National d'Art Moderne. Because of its location, the Centre is known locally as Beaubourg.

Some of the art movements represented in the Musée National d'Art Moderne are Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. The museum has 50,000 works of art (including painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography), of which 1,500 to 2,000 are on public display.
The building structure is very distinctive: it has been described by critics as "an oil refinery in the centre of the city". In the beginning, it was highly controversial, however its unique appearance has become more accepted. 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 display of art works, drawing on ideas promulgated by Cedric Price's Fun Palace project (1964).

 Access and surrounding area
The library is on the first three floors; the museum is on the fourth and fifth floor.
The Place Georges Pompidou in front of the museum is noted for the presence of street performers such as mimes and jugglers.
The nearby Stravinsky Fountain (or Fontaine des automates) near the Centre Pompidou, features works by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint-Phalle.

Brainstorming.Foster’s Foundation


Together with Norman foster and Elena Ochoa in the district of Caochangdi in Pechino visiting the buildings that soon be owned by Foster Foundation.
edited by Matteo Poli
Text by Norman Foster
Photo by Paolo Rosselli
In Beijing we accompany Foster and his wife Elena Ochoa on their visit to the buildings that will make up the Norman Foster Foundation. The site is in the Caochangdi district, Beijing’s liveliest artistic quarter. Ai Wei Wei, who has been invited to help with the project, both works and exhibits there. During the visit we drop in on the gallery of photographer Rong Rong and Inri, where Foster learns about the real-estate speculation that is about to overwhelm Caochangdi. The possibility of sending the government a letter jointly drafted and signed by the district’s entire artistic community, backed by the planned Foundation, is discussed.
Foster + Partners already runs a scholarship programme for university students, but the Beijing project aims much higher. The idea is to create a hybrid space that will simultaneously be Foster’s Far East office and a gathering point for winners of new scholarships in architecture, art and science.
Afterwards, in Dashanzi district, we visit the 798 Space, a space that Foster loves and sketches in his notebook on his return journey. He later suggests that this building should serve as the main source of inspiration for the Madrid project team. A few weeks later a large-scale model of the foundation proposal is completed in London.
A tour in Beijing
Norman Foster A project always starts with the site. And at the same time it begins with a discussion about what is actually going to go there. The foundation will be a place for us to design and to do what we do as architects. But in no time, it’s gone beyond this original idea because we’ve decided that we also need spaces for exhibition and display, if we want to showcase the work of students, young architects, artists, or if we want to make a contribution in terms of having, say, a prize for students, with the equivalent of the traveling scholarship that I have set up in London. This foundation has attracted interest fro m students all over the world, who compete for a traveling scholarship, and we have the possibility to give more than one out every year, if the entry level is spectacularly high. And then we exhibit those students in the main studio space in London: but there we don’t have the facilities to be able to make this show into a real exhibition, so maybe the RIBA might do it, but it would be much better if we also had a public aspect to our headquarters.
So out of all this the idea has developed that we could have that kind of space here in Beijing, and we could have a café, and the café would serve those of us who are working here. Then maybe we can also have apartments, so that we would stay here. What I’m describing is something that in part evolved from the informal discussions we had yesterday with the board, after we’d been through all the formalities and we were sort of relaxing over lunch. So, the two parallel events were that conversation, the site, and these are all shared with a larger design team, which includes people who perhaps have not seen the site, but there is very good photographic material of it to show them. You probably have quite a large model showing what was happening around the area as well as on the site itself. And then you have a number of brainstorming sessions and a number of model studies are created.
Then you have a crit, it is like a rather elitist architecture school, where you have a very critical jury, and really high performing students.
Three Shadows Gallery. The first photographic gallery in Beijing
Rong Rong You may have heard that there are all kinds of rumors in this area about demolitions, and things like that. It’s crazy.
Norman Foster I don’t think these rumors are true, or are they? rr If artists don’t do anything about it, and just kind of let things happen, then there is a real possibility that it will take place. That’s why doing the Photospring 2010 is really important in order to get people to understand that this is a worthwhile area to save and preserve.
In addition to the festival, they’ve been writing letters to ambassadors, and ambassadors are writing to the current secretary of Caochangdi district. He’s had letters from the German ambassador, the English ambassador, the French ambassador, all saying “You should visit Caochangdi, it’s a really fascinating place.” So he came to visit Caochangdi, in secret, last week. If Chaoyang Qu can stay and be preserved throughout the spring, then it will be ok.
NF But how is all this possible? The Foster site used to belong to the government. And they know that we are building soon.
RR There’s been some demolition in the area behind Caochangdi, and so they don’t want to take any chances.
In China everything happens so fast, everybody just moves so quickly, that there’s no sense of waiting, especially with these kinds of things, where you see demolition creeping closer. The thing now is to get as many of the higher officials to know as possible; the Caochangdi politicians are all on board, but it’s a matter of getting right to the top.

Brainstorming.Foster’s Foundation
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...