21st-century House of Culture

Renzo Piano Building Workshop

For the project of GES-2 House of culture, after the removal of the recent additions to the historical structure and the equipment of the electric plant, in the restoration of the building’s image Piano interprets the idea of energy as an image of culture. He recovers the theme of the metropolitan hub at the service of exhibited art and emphasizes the technological systems required for the functionality of the architectural mechanism. This idea was the key for the regeneration of one of the 17 Parisian îlots insalubres, that is areas with terrible hygienic conditions, highlighted in a famous map produced by the Municipality, dating back to 1920. That preceded the realization of Centre Pompidou, which has just celebrated 40 years since its construction this year. In the regeneration project of the Muscovite factory, the white-painted steel structure defines the indoor spaces, completed by new additions such as stairs, walkways and pipes inspired by industrial aesthetics. Then a 1,200 sqm-wide atrium, crossed by an internal pedestrian route, echoes the idea of a fluid and visible network in a unique space.

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