Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Field Trip #4: le Centre Pompidou

In it's heyday (if the term "heyday" can even stretch for almost 2000 years) Metz was a very important city. It is located smack-dab in the middle of Europe at, like Pittsburgh, the confluence of two rivers making it both a strong hold both in trade and military. But also like Pittsburgh, as the end of the industrial time ended, the lull began and it has been a bit of a struggle to keep the city relevant, at least to non-messins (people from Metz).

Enter the Centre Pompidou - Metz, our new branch of the famous Parisien modern art museum which was completed and opened this past May. The idea behind this museum branch (and the corresponding TGV (high speed) train line directly from Paris to Metz) was and is to bring more notice and more traffic to the area; to bring back to life what was once a bustling and popular city, which we are all for. As if I haven't mentioned enough in this blog what a fantastically overlooked area of France we live in and our fingers are crossed that the Centre Pompidou-Metz is just it needs to spring up from the metaphorical ashes.

Here it is in all of it's Chinese hat styled glory. The building was designed as a team effort by Shigeru Ban (Japanese) and Jean de Gastines (French).

In all the roof line is made up of 16 kilometers of laminated timber covered by a thin fiberglass layer which has been coated in Teflon.

Our wonderful (partially pictured) English speaking tour guide along with our French teacher Madame Serafin gave a wonderful tour of the facility.

The window provides an optical illusion making the cathedral seem much closer than it is in reality.

This was one of my favorites, it feels like you are looking through fog (or like I couldn't hold the camera still).

On this floor of the museum one wall held the masterpieces while the opposing wall displayed the "making of the masterpiece utilizing photos and even videos of the artists whilst at work.

A room of Laurel leaves

The enormity of some of the pieces was obviously striking; notice Michael looking up in the bottom right hand corner.

Such a well designed museum -- even the hallways become art. I am in the center-left of the photo looking up at the mirrors on the ceiling.

In conclusion: come, visit.
If you are ever in Paris, certainly check out the Centre Pompidou (which we still need to see). But if you have extra time in Paris, take the 1.5 hour high speed train to Metz. Visit the town. Visit the Museum. You won't be sorry. (Especially if you are under 26, which means you are admitted into the museum for free!)

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