Why visit the Pompidou-Metz Centre?
The Centre Pompidou-Metz opened in May 2010 as France’s first major decentralization cultural project. It’s extraordinarily ambitious and successful, putting on temporary exhibitions and drawing heavily from the 65,000 works held by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, one of the world’s two best collections of modern and contemporary art.
Just 82 minutes by TGV from Paris and right next to the railway station, it’s possible to do the center in a day trip. But the gallery has also brought new life to Metz, making it a very pleasant place for an overnight or weekend stay.
The structure is dramatic. It’s a large hexagonal shape with three rectangular galleries running through the building, jutting out of the sides with huge windows that look out onto different areas of Metz. It’s built around a central spire that reaches 77 feet, a reference to 1977 when the original Pompidou in Paris opened.
The roof of the building swoops and curves, with a light wood roof covered with a white waterproof membrane made of fibre glass and Teflon. The architects, Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines, were selected from an international competition.
A large development is being built beside the Centre. The Amphitheatre district will have housing, shops and offices, with various cultural spaces and sports facilities. It’s being built on sustainable principles with roofs with vegetation and solar panels. A ‘green’ public transport system will connect it to the city of Metz.
For current exhibitions and practical information, please go to the next page