Centre Pompidou Metz
The Centre Pompidou Metz is an art center in the Lorraine region of north-eastern France and a branch of the famous Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Architecture – Shigeru Ban’s building
Opened in 2010, the center is housed in a peculiar building, which form resembles that of a “Chinese hat”, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.
Ban designed the center’s building, which encompasses a floor area of about 11,000 square meters, as a hexagonal volume covered by a wavy roof topped by a spire reaching a height of 77 meters over the ground. The roof structure consists of a laminated timber lattice with a hexagonal pattern, inspired by woven bamboo hats, covered by a translucent membrane made in fiberglass and PTFE.
The center contains three main special exhibition galleries, each shaped like a narrow box, stacked over one another, and providing an exhibition area of over 5,000 square meters overall. Called the Grand Nef, the main gallery was designed with an internal height of 18 meters which allows the installation of very large artworks that can’t be exhibited in the main museum in Paris due to their size.
Since the building is not situated in the urban center of Metz, to create a visual and symbolic relationship between Centre Pompidou and the city, the Japanese architect added large rectangular windows to each gallery conceived to “frame” the view of the city’s cathedral and other monuments and places of interests.
Program of activities and events
The Centre Pompidou Metz does not have a permanent exhibition, but regularly organizes and accommodates semi-permanent exhibitions of modern and contemporary art (from 3 to 4 each year, on average).
The exhibitions, either thematic or focused on a specific artist, are based on the collections of the Centre Pompidou Musée National d’Art Moderne, and/or developed in collaboration with international cultural institutions and museums. In the last years, the center has also featured special art commissions, including site-specific installations by Daniel Buren, Kimsooja, and Tadashi Kawamata.
Along with special exhibitions, the program of events of the center features live performances, concerts, film screenings, conferences, lectures, and educational activities for children, families, and schools.
Fully accessible to physically impaired persons, the Centre Pompidou Metz also includes a theater, an auditorium, a book store, a restaurant, and a cafe.
Centre Pompidou Metz, view from north-west, and model; photos: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
Close up of one of the large rectangular windows providing panoramic views of some of Metz’s most popular landmarks, and a view of the city’s cathedral from inside the center; photos Jean-Pierre Dalbéra and Marc Feldmann
View of the outdoor terrace and details of the laminated timber structure of the center’s “Chinese hat” roof; photos Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
Daniel Buren, “Les cabanes éclatées imbriquées”, 2011, site-specific installation; photo Marc Feldmann
Photo Christophe Goessen
Cover image, Centre Pompidou Metz, view from north; photo Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
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