Isn’t It Our Job After All?

Centre Pompidou is a building that really did turn the architecture world upside down when it came out with its radical design of reversing what architects had known previously. Instead of housing all the mechanics on the interior of the building, Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano placed the mechanics on the exterior to free up the interior for the exhibition spaces housed within.

Exterior Facade

Exterior Facade

This building is the focus of my final paper for this course and has been one of my favorites since I was introduced to it during my architectural history course. The façade of this building was what originally drew it to me, but after conducting some preliminary research, I have discovered new reasons to love this building.

Mechanical Work on Exterior

Mechanical Work on Exterior

The main being the real fears that this building caused to the people of Paris and the neighborhood of Beaubourg that it was placed within. Many people voiced their opinions and strongly opposed it when it was selected to be the winner of the design competition that it entered in. Many people feared that its resemblance to an oil refinery was a ridiculous design that should never be built within its site context.

Interior Exhibition Space

Interior Exhibition Space

After the completion of this building though, fear quickly changed to intrigue and it has now averaged nearly 25,000 visitors to date. This statistic draws upon an important question that many architects face when dealing with a client. We are hired to design a building that the client wants, and strive to achieve that goal to the best of our abilities. When though do we, as designers, take the clients needs and begin to warp them into a design that we feel will produce the better result? After all, isn’t that our job in the end?


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