Category Archives: Centre Georges Pompidou

Odious eyesores in the City of Light

Paris has the distinction, writes Dalrymple, of having constructed three of the worst buildings in the world:

  • the Centre Georges Pompidou
  • the Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac
  • the Philharmonie de Paris

 

The world’s worst building

Dalrymple cannot positively assert that the Centre Georges Pompidou (1971-77, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini) is the worst building in the world, but

I should be surprised if anyone were able to point to a building that was very much worse.

If Jack the Ripper had been an architect,

the Centre Pompidou is what he would have built: for he preferred his entrails out rather than in. The savage, gory mess that is the Centre Pompidou would have pleased him no end; perhaps he would even have obtained a sexual thrill from contemplating all the eviscerated intestinal pipes that writhe so uselessly around the inelegant core of the building.

The Centre Pompidou

screams Look at me! at the passer-by, Look upon the originality of the architect who built me, and despair! He has done something that you, stuck upon your tramlines of conventional thought and judgment, could neither have thought nor dared to do.

The world’s ugliest building

Centre Georges Pompidou. 1971-77, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini

French fascism HQ: Centre Georges Pompidou, 1971-77, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini

Popularity of public hangings

Populist hangout: Tyburn

Populist hangout: Tyburn

Kimmelman makes the Pompidou Centre sound like a new, unpleasant cancer therapy

Dalrymple reports that the architecture critic of the New York Times has described the Pompidou Centre’s ‘breakthrough‘, namely ‘not just the inside-out factory aesthetic but the development of a populist hangout’.

Kimmelman forgets, writes Dalrymple

that public executions were also ‘a populist [or is it popular?] hangout’ and probably would be still if carried out.

Kimmelman’s populist hangout

Something of a prat: Dalrymple writes that according to the architecture correspondent of the New York Times, someone called Michael Kimmelman, the 'breakthrough' of the Centre Georges Pompidou (1971-77, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini) was 'the development of a populist hangout'. Does Kimmelman mean that those who enunciate mass ideologies, the likes of Heinz-Christian Strache, Ron Paul, Pablo Iglesias, Alexis Tsipras, Nigel Farage, Tom Van Grieken, Marine Le Pen, Manfred Rouhs and Geert Wilders, enjoy 'hanging out' at the Pompidou Centre? No. Does Kimmelman mean that latter-day adherents of the inter-war French literary movement that focused on the concerns of ordinary people prefer to ‘hang out’ at the Pompidou Centre? No. Does Kimmelman pay any attention to what he is saying? No. Should we read Kimmelman or indeed the New York Times? No.

Prattish: the architecture critic of the New York Times, Michael Kimmelman, has written, Dalrymple reports, that the ‘breakthrough’ of the Centre Georges Pompidou (1971-77, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini) was ‘the development of a populist hangout’.