BIBLIOTECADocumentos

Centro Pompidou por Renzo Piano


La decisión de construir el Centro Cultural de Arte Nacional Georges Pompidou la tomó  el propio Georges Pompidou en diciembre de 1969, entonces Presidente de la República Francesa. La competencia internacional fue organizada por el Ministerio de Cultura de Francia en 1971. El proyecto requiere la creación de una institución cultural interdisciplinario, que combine tanto el arte moderno y contemporáneo, como la literatura, el diseño, la música y el cine.

Por esta razón, el Centro incluye la Biblioteca de Información Pública, el Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno y el IRCAM, Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique. El edificio también alberga el Centro de diseño industrial.

Durante una entrevista con Le Monde el 17 de octubre de 1972, Georges Pompidou declaró: “Quiero que París tenga un centro cultural (…) que sirva como museo y centro de la creación, en el que las artes visuales van de la mano con la música, el cine, la literatura, la investigación audiovisual, y así sucesivamente. Como ya tenemos el Louvre, el museo será naturalmente de arte moderno. La biblioteca atraerá a miles de lectores que, a su vez, también estarán en contacto con las artes”.

Tras la recepción de una propuesta de la empresa de ingeniería Ove Arup, Renzo Piano ha participado en el concurso en colaboración con Richard Rogers (eran compañeros en el estudio “Piano y Rogers” 1970/77). En el concurso participaron 681 arquitectos, que fueron seleccionados por un jurado internacional presidido por Jean Prouvé. En enero de 1972, Robert Bordaz fue nominado presidente de la institución pública del Centro y puesto a cargo de su construcción. El sitio, conocido como la meseta de Beaubourg, está situado en el barrio de Marais, al este del Boulevard de Sébastopol. Tenía una superficie total de 2 hectáreas, de las cuales el edificio ocuparía la mitad del espacio y el resto se dedicaria a la creación de una plaza de la ciudad.

El sitio se inauguró oficialmente en abril de 1972 con las primeras excavaciones, y el montaje de la estructura de acero comenzó en septiembre de 1974. Mientras tanto, se decidía las instituciones a alojar en el Centro Pompidou: el Centro de Creación Industrial se incorporó al proyecto en julio de 1972 y el traslado del museo de arte moderno de la avenida Président Wilson al sitio fue propuesto en 1974. Después de cinco años de trabajo, el Centro Pompidou fue inaugurado por Valéry Giscard d’Estaing el 31 de enero de 1977, y las puertas se abrieron al público el 2 de febrero.

Según Renzo Piano, “el edificio es un diagrama espacial. La gente puede descifrarlo en un instante”. La flexibilidad del espacio se obtuvo gracias a diversas opciones de diseño: con el fin de liberar el espacio interior, los servicios públicos, así como los de acceso y distribución de rutas, fueron relegados fuera del edificio.

Los servicios públicos se colocaron a lo largo de la fachada oeste y han sido codificados por colores (azul para el aire, verde para el agua, amarillo para la electricidad, y el rojo para los sistemas de circulación de aire verticales). Los ascensores y escaleras mecánicas se han colocado sobre la estructura de soporte, a lo largo de la fachada, de modo que el público está dirigido hacia canales de movimiento que son completamente transparentes.

Cada piso se compone de un espacio vacío 50 x 170 metros con una disposición abierta, listo para ser configurado y equipado para cualquier tipo de actividad. La plaza peatonal que ha sido creada alrededor del edificio sirve como un “amortiguador” para el resto de la ciudad. La plaza y el edificio forman un espacio continuo y uniforme,  que aloja antiguas actividades espontáneas y no planificadas.

El edificio tiene 7 pisos de acero y vidrio por encima del suelo, y 3 plantas subterráneas que albergan las salas de máquinas y áreas de servicio. Hay una distancia de 7 metros entre cada piso. El edificio es un enorme prototipo que ha sido diseñado “pieza por pieza” y construido de forma casi artesanal: la estructura de acero actúa como un gigante Meccano, en el que cada elemento ha sido diseñado y construido para un propósito específico.

En cada planta, las extremidades superiores de las columnas de acero centrifugadas, “gerberettes”, son de acero fundido a presión de 8 metros de largo y 10 toneladas de peso. Las vigas de 45 metros de largo, que distribuyen los esfuerzos a todos los pilares, están equilibradas por los apoyos y crucetas, y apoyan contra los “gerberettes”. La jerarquía estructural es claramente visible: cada sección de los perfiles de acero responde a las tensiones a las que está sometido.

La Restauración de 1997

Este lugar es visitado por unas 25.000 personas diarias y más de 150 millones de visitantes pasaron por sus puertas a lo largo de 20 años. Su popularidad ha obligado a cerrar el sitio por 27 meses, a partir de octubre de 1997, con el fin de renovar y ampliar las zonas públicas.

Después de 20 años, las actividades del Centro se han reevaluado a la luz de ciertas realidades: el museo requiere espacio adicional y la biblioteca debía ser más fácilmente accesible. El primer paso importante para hacer estos cambios era reubicar todas las oficinas en un edificio adyacente. De esta manera, el espacio liberado se asignó a las actividades primarias del Centro.

Hoy, los pisos cuarto y quinto alojan el Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno, y una parte de la primera planta está dedicada a exposiciones temporales. La biblioteca, que se encuentra en el primero, segundo y tercer piso, tiene una entrada independiente que facilita el acceso.

El foro principal se modificó con el fin de dar mayor importancia a las funciones públicas; un sistema de ascensores y escaleras mecánicas vincula, respectivamente, el nivel de foro (entrada, taquilla, oficina de información, boutiques y librerías) con el primer piso (entrada de la biblioteca y la cafetería) y el nivel subterráneo (salas de espectáculos).

En el exterior del edificio, además de la fachada, que ha sido restaurada a sus condiciones y colores originales, un dosel de protección transparente fue instalado por encima de la entrada principal, conectado con el nuevo sistema de entradas. Todas las terrazas del edificio han sido rediseñadas, creando grandes superficies sobre la que se muestran las obras de la colección de arte. El Centro Pompidou se reabrió al público el 1 de enero de 2000.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop©

Fotografías: ©Marcelo Gardinetti

Artículo relacionado: Edificios musicales

TECNNE  |  Arquitectura + contextos

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