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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In front of the building is a fountain that is just as modern in its design and that is called Stravinsky Fountain.
Wednesday to Monday: 11.00 – 22.00
Closed on Tuesdays
Museum and exhibitions
Adults: 14€ Discounted tickets are available
Paris Viewing point
Foundation Louis Vuitton
The Louis Vuitton Foundation is a private museum at Bois de Boulogne near the Les Sablons Metro stop.
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.
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!
FOUNDATION LOUIS VUITTON
8, Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi
Bois de Boulogne – 75116 –
Opening Hours (2017):
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 12.00 – 19.00
Friday: 12.00 – 21.00
Saturday, Sunday: 11.00 – 20.00
Closed on Tuesdays
Discounted tickets are available Prices may vary for different exhibitions