Futuristic architecture in Paris:
Centre Pompidou and Fondation Louis Vuitton

Modern architecture is omnipresent in Paris. Whether or not one actually likes this style is a different story. What is certain, though, is that this almost futuristic looking style is something quite special.

We picked two buildings that we particularly liked and that are well worth a visit even if one isn’t even into the exhibitions that are shown inside of those buildings.

Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou is in the 4th Arrondissement of Paris. It is a State Art- and Cultures Centre opened in 1977. So actually it isn’t all that new and modern, but its design still looks futuristic by today’s standards and the building is well worth a visit.

architecture in Paris

A new type of façade structure was used in the construction of the building. The load-bearing structures and all its pipes and tubes for different facilities are on the outside of the structure. The pipes and tubes themselves are colour coded: White for ventilation, white again for load bearing structures, yellow for electricity, green for water, blue for airconditioning and red for transportation (stairs and escalators). Most of the structures for facilities are on the east side of the building and the west side is dominated by escalators. This layout choice was supposed to free up more usable surface in the building and encourage a greater variety of design choices on the inside that are not limited by columns and beams.

architecture in Paris

The people of Paris were not exactly happy about this building that has more in common with a factory than it has with an art centre but over time the population got used to this type of architecture in Paris.

For our visit, we purchased a ticket for the escalators, the pedestrian tubes and the rooftop viewing point for 5€. The subject matters of the art exhibitions at the time didn’t interest us all that much so we gave those a miss.

architecture in Paris

I was more interested if I would be able to identify the particular tube that was used as a location for shooting some scenes for the James Bond movie Moonraker in 1978. We weren’t entirely sure which one it was as the view from the tube could have been edited in post-production. But I think a view down this tube raises an expectation to see James Bond coming around the next corner.

architecture in Paris

The view over Paris is nice and 5€ for a ticket to a viewing point is rather cheap compared to other locations in the city.

view over Paris

In front of the building is a fountain that is just as modern in its design and that is called Stravinsky Fountain.

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Place Georges-Pompidou
75004 Paris

Opening Hours:

Wednesday to Monday: 11.00 – 22.00
Closed on Tuesdays

Admission (2017):

Museum and exhibitions
Adults: 14€
Discounted tickets are available

Paris Viewing point
Adults: 5€


Foundation Louis Vuitton

The Louis Vuitton Foundation is a private museum at Bois de Boulogne near the Les Sablons Metro stop.

architecture in Paris

Construction for this rather unusual building started in 2008.
The structure was placed on top of a pre-existing one-storey bowling alley as a clever way to undermine the building ban of the area. The American architect Frank Gehry planned a façade that resembled sails of a ship. The core of the building is enclosed by 12 elements made from glass, steel and wood that measure 13500m².

Louis Vuitton Foundation

Inside, there are 19 white blocks that hold galleries and an auditorium for 400 people. The exterior is characterised by several patios and a waterfall.
The building was opened in 2014 and will become city property after 50 years. The museum showcases artwork from the 20th century.

We didn’t like the theme of the current exhibition when we visited. We skipped a visit to the museum. We circled the building as best as the surrounding structures allowed. And I have to say I was thrilled by the Parisien architecture. I most definitely don’t want to be the person in charge of cleaning all the glass. But especially these glass surfaces make the building appear light and airy and the reflections in the glass panels are amazing.

Fans of modern and innovative architecture will certainly like this building so absolutely pay it a visit!

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8, Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi
Bois de Boulogne – 75116 – Paris

Opening Hours (2017):

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 12.00 – 19.00
Friday: 12.00 – 21.00
Saturday, Sunday: 11.00 – 20.00
Closed on Tuesdays

Admission (2017):

Adults: 14€
Discounted tickets are available
Prices may vary for different exhibitions

architecture in Paris


  1. Carmen Edelson on 8. June 2019 at 21:03

    Wow, these places are so unique and stunning. I’ve been to Paris several times and have yet to visit the Centre Pompidou. And I didn’t even KNOW about that Louis Vuitton building, thanks for sharing!

  2. Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions on 7. June 2019 at 19:34

    What a cool post! Although I’ve not been yet, these two buildings are not what I picture when I think of Paris. However, it was still so interesting to learn about the city’s more modern architecture. The view from the Centre Pompidou looks awesome and I´m glad to hear it was a bargain. I´d love to see the inside of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, but I´d also probably only pay 14 Euros if I was interested in the current exhibitions as well. Thanks for sharing a lesser-known side of Paris!

  3. Yukti Agrawal on 7. June 2019 at 10:49

    It is great that you covered some modern architecture of Paris as we generally see the posts on ancient architecture. Good to see something new and unique through your post. Paris has great architecture wonders from olden days to modern days. I loved the built up of Foundation Louis Vuitton.

  4. Melody PIttman on 6. June 2019 at 0:52

    I only had 2 days in Paris last month (and my first visit) so besides the architecture along my canal cruise, I missed it all. Gorgeous designs and great pictures.

  5. Heather on 5. June 2019 at 20:53

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post as I have really gotten into architecture with traveling. I wish I had known about these two places before I visited Paris last summer because I totally would have checked them out. I particularly love the tube view of the Centre Pompidou and EVERY view of inside and outside of the Foundation Louis Vuitton. I have marked both on my maps for my next visit to Paris!!

  6. Rhonda Albom on 5. June 2019 at 2:05

    The architecture in Paris is classic and bizarre at the same time. The Centre Pompidou is quite alarming when you first see it so it is no surprise that it took Parisians a while to accept it. I can understand skipping the exhibit at the Louis Vuitton Foundation museum when the building itself is a work of art.

  7. Michael Hodgson on 3. June 2019 at 7:07

    What an amazing building and piece of art the Foundationo Louis Vuitton is! So creative they built it over a bowling alley to get around building permits … sneaky devils. I could spend all day wandering around outside I think, gazing up at the sail shapes and glass.

  8. The Holidaymaker on 3. June 2019 at 1:17

    I have seen, but not gone inside, the Centre Pompidou. It is quite surprising when you see it in Le Marais. That is a great tip that you shared of 5euro for the view. I am now going to do that next time in Paris. I haven’t seen the Foundation LV, it looks intriguing to visit. Thank you.

  9. Dana Howard Freeman on 2. June 2019 at 23:03

    I have been fascinated with the Cente Pompidou every since my first visit on a High School trip to Paris. It is an amazing building inside and out. I will have to put the Louis Vuitton Foundation on my list for the next time I am there.

  10. Susanne Jungbluth on 2. June 2019 at 12:52

    I can understand you already. The Cente Pompidou looks more like industrial buildings. It does not really fit in the environment. I especially liked discovering the building from the inside.

  11. Danik on 2. June 2019 at 11:48

    I have done both of these buildings whilst living and working in Paris. I hate the Centre Pompidou, its just a mess as I can see. I love the FOUNDATION LOUIS VUITTON, I find it quirky but I also love the park and the surrounding area and spent all day here. I think I prefer modern buildings to a building with lots of huge plastic straws wrapped around it. :D

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