The Centre Pompidou in Paris, the city’s major multidisciplinary arts hub, will shutter for over three years starting in mid-2023 in order to complete critical renovations to its iconic modern building, reported Le Figaro today. A reopening is slated for 2027.
“We don’t have a choice, the building is suffering,” said Serge Lasvignes, the museum’s president.
Located in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, the Pompidou houses a vast public library and the IRCAM center for music research in addition to the Musée National d’Art Moderne, the largest museum for modern and contemporary art in Europe. The immediately recognizable landmark, designed in 1977 by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, is an example of “inside-out” architecture, in which a structure’s entrails — mechanical systems, plumbing pipes, electrical wiring — are visible from the outside.
The forthcoming restoration project, which carries a price tag of €200 million (~$242,842,000), has been in the pipeline since 2016, when a commission dedicated to the building’s preservation warned of its worsening state of disrepair. Asbestos, a potentially carcinogenic substance, must be removed from its facade and windows; the air conditioning and ventilation systems, elevators, and exterior escalators are in need of an overhaul. Improved accessibility for visitors with disabilities is also on the agenda.
“On its inauguration, the Centre Pompidou building was a symbol of the future, and something that brought joy,” Lasvignes added. “Its aging is at once contradictory and saddening for the Center’s image.”
The years-long closure will require finding satellite spaces to continue the Pompidou’s arts programming. The center is also looking for a temporary space of at least 65,000 square feet to serve the 1.4 million students and researchers who use its library every year.