The Breeding Museum: Pompidou Expands to Metz


From blueprints to renderings, budget restraints to breaking ground, the architectural review process is slow-moving beast. (Just consider the Second Avenue subway punchline.) So imagine our excitement over the highly anticipated May opening of the Pompidou-Metz after a scant three-year delay. The high profile of the museum means that Metz will have the chance to reinvent itself from a town of industry in northeastern France into a full-blown arts hub.

The idea of the expanding museum brand is nothing new — we’ve seen it thanks to franchises like the Guggenheim and the Tate, while Whitney and Louvre offspring wait in the proverbial wings. So what we can expect from the newest outpost of France’s most venerable contemporary art institution? A sneak peek at Pompidou-Metz after the jump.

Architects Shigeru Ban, Philip Gumuchdjian and Jean de Gastines designed the steel and glass core structure, with an impressive swooping roof coated in fiberglass that is said to resemble the roof of a circus tent.

Pompidou-Metz is made up of 10,700 square meters of surface area and holds 5,000 square meters of exhibition space, plus two gardens and a terrace.

A 37-meter tall column supports both the roof and the spire, which soars 77 meters above ground.

The wooden mesh roof was created by weaving six interlaced beams into a hexagon. Construction view at right.

An expansive view from inside the museum.

Another view of the exterior.

Bonus links: Watch over three years’ worth of construction on Centre Pompidou-Metz in this time-lapse video and take a hard hat tour with Wallpaper* magazine.