The Centre Georges Pompidou is to be found at the Beaubourg area of Paris
. It is near Marais and Les Halles at the IVe arrondissement. This controversial building was constructed in the 1970s and now houses a variety of institutions. These include the National Museum of Modern Art, a library (Bibliothèque publique d'information) and others.
Ever since it opened its doors in 1977, it has been the subject of many an argument, because of its bold "exo-skeletal" design made of glass and metal and the use of brightly colored pipes that are visible to all. It is one of the most visited sights in France, attracting around 6 million people annually and around 5,000 people daily.
The centre, as the name suggests, was named after the then president of France, Georges Pompidou. It was his idea to build a modern testament of the creativity and ingenuity of the people and have it standing right in the center of Paris. It was designed by Renzo Piano and the couple Sue and Richard Rogers.
The design was selected via a competition. From the onset, it has broken a few of the architectural "rules" and proceeded to make a design that is unique and eye-catching. The elevators were placed outside of the building and are painted red. There are also color-coded pipes that one can see in the façade. Blue pipes transport air, yellow pipes house the building's electricity cables and green pipes transport fluids. The façade at the west side is entirely transparent. The bold design makes a fascinating contrast with the elegant and ancient buildings that surround it, such as the Notre-Dame cathedral.
The Centre Pompidou is where the arts opens up to entertain, educate and uplift its visitors. The contemporary and modern art collections housed in the National Museum of Modern Art make it one of the most important museums in the continent. Here, you can view art work produced by artistic greats during the 20th century. Take a look at paintings by Klee, Matisse, Chagall, Picasso, Kandinsky and Braque. There are also dada-style sculptures by Marcel Duchamp. You can also enjoy the entertainment provided by fire-eaters, musicians, jugglers, and many others at the forecourt of the museum.
Meanwhile, the library is a vast repository of knowledge (with its close to half a million books). It also has amenities for more than 2,000 visitors and an extensive documentation of art in the 20th century. There are also some performance halls, a research institute for music, a cinema and some bookshops, as well as an industrial design center. You should also look for the Stravinsky Fountain, which features sculptures by Saint Phalle and Tinquely. The top floor contains a café. It is a great place for you to view the city.
If you would like to visit Centre Pompidou, be sure to avoid scheduling your trip on Tuesdays, because the center is closed on this day, as well as every 1st of May. It is open from 11 in the morning to 10 in the evening, with the museum and the other institutions having varied opening and closing times.