Next autumn, the Centre Pompidou will close until 2030 for extensive renovations to its Renzo Piano– and Richard Rogers–designed home. Originally announced in January 2021 to line-up with the institution’s 50th anniversary, the proposed three-year-long project was shelved in November 2021, and planned for reconsideration after the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics. The building’s famous color-coded exterior (blue for air conditioning, yellow for electricity, green for water, and red for pedestrian circulation) left building functions unmasked, and while being heavily criticized upon its opening, is now one of the city’s cultural centers.
The renovations, supported by the French Ministry of Culture, will include asbestos removal from the facades, improved fire safety and accessibility, energy optimization improvements, and interior changes. The project seeks to reshape the Centre to reflect its multidisciplinary character, and to allow visitors more space to move within the institution’s expansive collections.
In a press release the Centre emphasized the eco-friendly nature of pursuing a renovation path that retains the existing building envelope, rather than a more intensive overhaul that would require far more materials (let alone spark a larger preservation debate).
In autumn 2024 collections will gradually be moved out of the building as it currently exists, ahead of a full closure to the public in summer 2025. In December 2025, the building will be fully closed, and work will continue until a planned reopening in 2030.
The ever-popular Bibliothèque publique d’information (Bpi) will be given additional space within the building’s second and third floors. Ircam (Institute for Research and Acoustic/Music Coordination), which is across the street and part of the Centre, will remain open during the main building’s renovations. 215,000 square feet (20,000 square meters) of space under the piazza, which is currently a vacant bus lot, will be turned into cinemas and areas for multidisciplinary exhibitions. A restaurant will open on the building’s south side, taking over gallery space, while the hallmark Musée National d’Art Moderne will see renovated gallery spaces. A large terrace on the building’s seventh level will open to the public for the first time.
During renovations, the Bpi will be relocated to a building in the city’s 12th Arrondissement, and will be free and open to the public again in summer 2025, before being moved back to the Pompidou for 2030. Other aspects of the museum’s collections, including portions of the Musée National d’Art Moderne (the largest modern art collection in Europe), will be shown at other Parisian cultural institutions including Grand Palais, the Louvre, the Conciergerie, and the Palais de Tokyo, in addition to regional and local cultural centers across France.
This is in addition to portions of the collection that will be shown at the Centre-Pompidou Metz and the Centre’s growing locations abroad. Currently, the Pompidou has outposts in Málaga, Spain, and in Shanghai’s Bund, which the Centre is actively looking to extend beyond their respective 2025 and 2024 contract expiration dates. The KANAL-Centre Pompidou is scheduled to open in Brussels in 2025, and the OMA-designed Centre Pompidou x Jersey City is scheduled for a 2026 opening. Finally, the Centre is working in collaboration with cultural institutions in Paraná, Brazil, and as AN has previously reported, in Seoul and Al Ula, Saudi Arabia.
An architectural competition will be held to select the renovations’ designer. AN will continue to update its reporting as competition news is released.