One of the most controversial buildings in Paris (together with the Eiffel Tower, The Pyramide of the Louvre and the Opera de Bastille) the Centre Georges Pompidou has one of the world's finest collections of modern art.
Commissioned by President Georges Pompidou in 1970, the building was subject to an international architecture competition. The building was designed to maximise on functional mobility, leaving the exhibition space as clear as possible. This means all utility shafts are on the outside of the building; air conditioning in blue, water pipes in green, electricity in yellow and transport, such as escalators, in red. In addition to its permanent collections by artists such as Kandinsky, Dali and Picasso, it has some interesting temporary collections coming up this year.
From the outstandingly simple yet beautiful, to the thought-provokingly complex to the just plain bizarre, everything about the Pompidou Centre's art collection screams modern. Even the building itself can be seen as an original modern art form and aims to encapsulate the spirit of the 20th-century.
Under the same roof you will find works by the modern greats Matisse, Picasso, Ernst, Warhol as well as more recent and lesser-known artists.
Originality is definitely an important criterion for all works - where else could you find a life-size shining scarlet rhinoceros, chairs made of gnomes and a giant wicker winged creature pierced with hundreds of pairs of scissors? And if you've ever felt like climbing inside a painting, you can do it here - Jean Dubuffet’s Le Jardin d'hiver is a vast, white-painted cave you are free to walk around in.
The sculpture, Horizontal by Alexander Calder, a free-standing mobile that is 25 feet high, was placed permanently in front of the Centre Pompidou by the architect of the building, Renzo Piano.
As well as the museum of modern art, the centre also contains a public reference library, a cinema, performance and conference halls, a music research institute, activity areas, bookshops, a café and a children's gallery.