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Centre Pompidou, Metz - the roof | by Wolfgang Staudt
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Centre Pompidou, Metz - the roof

Wolfgang Staudt

The Centre Pompidou Metz is a museum of modern and contemporary arts designed by architects Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines and located in Metz, capital of Lorraine, France. It is built in the Amphitheatre District, near the Metz railway station and the German Imperial District. The Centre Pompidou-Metz is a branch of Pompidou arts centre of Paris, and features temporary exhibitions from the large collection of the French National Museum of Modern Art, the largest European collection of 20th and 21st century arts. The museum is the largest temporary exhibition space outside Paris in France with 5,000 metres square divided between 3 galleries and includes also a theatre, an auditorium, and a restaurant terrace.


The first piece of the monument was laid on November 7, 2006, and the building was inaugurated by the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, on May 12, 2010. The building is remarkable for its roof structure, one of the largest and most complex built to date, which was inspired by a Chinese hat found in Paris by Shigeru Ban.


The Centre Pompidou-Metz is a large hexagon structured round a central spire reaching 77 metres high, alluding to the 1977 opening date of the original Centre Pompidou of Paris. It possesses three rectangular galleries weaving through the building at different levels, jutting out through the roof with huge picture windows angled towards landmarks such as the Saint-Stephen Gothic cathedral, the Imperial Metz railway station, the Arsenal Concert Hall built by architect Ricardo Bofill, the Arènes indoor sport arena, and the Seille park. The great nave covers 1,200 m² and provides flexibility for the exhibition of large artworks, with the ceiling rising progressively from a height of 5.70 to 18 metres.

View on the carpentry structure.

Central spire supporting the carpentry.

Joan Miró, Blue I, Blue II, and Blue III, 1961, triptych in October 2010, during the exhibition Masterpieces?.


The roof is the major achievement of the building: a 90 meters wide hexagon echoing the building’s floor map. With a surface area of 8,000 metres square, the roof structure is composed of sixteen kilometres of glued laminated timber, that intersect to form hexagonal wooden units resembling the cane-work pattern of a Chinese hat. The roof’s geometry is irregular, featuring curves and counter-curves over the entire building, and in particular the three exhibition galleries. Imitating this kind of hat and its protective fabric, the entire wooden structure is covered with a white fibreglass membrane and a coating of teflon, which has the distinction of being self-cleaning, protect from direct sunlight while providing a transparent at night.


The Pompidou-Metz itself and its parvise, named Human Rights square, are built on the site of the Roman amphitheatre of Divodurum Medriomaticum (ancestor of present-day Metz). So, the building is the cornerstone of the newly created Amphitheater district. The district of 50 hectares, thought by architects Nicolas Michelin, Jean-Paul Viguier, and Christian de Portzamparc, is currently under construction and includes the edification of a convention centre and a shopping mall. The quarter encompasses already the Seille park designed by landscape architect Jacques Coulon and the Arènes indoor sport arena by Paul Chemetov built in 2002. The urban project completion is expected to take place by 2015.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Taken on January 15, 2012