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Centre Georges Pompidou

Shigeru Ban Architects

The opening of the Centre Georges Pompidou (CGP) in Metz last May was a coherent move by the Paris based (state-run) modern art museum. Not only does the new facility remediate a severe shortage of exhibition space, it also – like the Guggenheim - capitalizes on the huge success of a very bankable brand that has drawn millions of visitors since the CGP first opened in 1977. When in 2003, the process was started for a new CGP, the aura of the Piano & Rogers building invariably infused the Metz competition brief, inviting competitors to innovate while retaining the Zeitgeist. The winning entry by Shigeru Ban & Jean de Gastines could be described as having two distinct component parts: an assembly of three stacked exhibition spaces on the one hand, and a roof structure on the other. Today the new museum stands on a green-field site with no other buildings around and a short walk...

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