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Work in focus: the Pompidou Centre

Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings


Monday 19 November 2018
6.30 — 8pm

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Part of our

Renzo Piano

events programme
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Piano + Rogers, Pompidou Centre, Paris, 1971-77. Piazza

© Naotake Murayama

A lecture by Boris Hamzeian exploring the creation and later transformations of one of the twentieth century’s most significant buildings – the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano were relatively unknown when, in 1971, they saw off competition from 680 other architectural teams to win the high-profile job to design a new cultural centre on a vacant site on Paris’ Plateau Beauborg. Teaming up with the architect Gianfranco Franchini and engineering firm Ove Arup & Partners, the architects designed ‘a fun place for the city’ and its construction over the following six years would play out a battle between establishment politics and ideological architecture.

Completed in 1977, the building, which contains gallery spaces, alongside a library, a research centre, an auditorium and cinemas, was designed to be truly flexible with exterior elements that could be detached and replaced. Although received sceptically at first by critics, the building has gone on to become a beloved monument of the modern city of Paris and is today considered an icon of the city, the quintessential modern building, and a model for what a museum can be.

Join us to examine a formative building in Piano’s career. From its genesis as a building to democratise culture, designed through an integral relationship between its architects and engineers to be flexible and adaptable, we look at the ideas that underpinned its creation and how these have played out over time.

The lecture will be given by Boris Hamzeian, doctoral assistant at the laboratory of Theory and History of Architecture at the École Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne. His PhD thesis is titled “A ‘live centre for information’: the Pompidou Centre. Idea, design, fabrication, installations” and is dedicated to reconstructing the history of the Pompidou Centre as conceived by Ove Arup and Partners and Piano+Rogers Architects. The thesis is supervised by Professor Roberto Gargiani.

Supported by the Italian Cultural Institute

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Monday 19 November 2018

6.30 — 8pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£15, £9