The Center Pompidou reopens its “caterpillar” after two years of work

Closed since the end of summer 2019, the “caterpillar” of the Center Pompidou, completely redone, reopens on Wednesday June 16 and its escalators restart. A single entrance has been set up on the piazza, the large cobbled square in front of the building.

The Center Pompidou completed its first facelift before the major construction site which will begin in autumn 2023. Since the start of work at the end of summer 2019, the piazza, a place where people can sit, meet and where street performances take place, was closed to the public. Visitors and students all had to enter from the rear of the building, where temporary elevators had been installed.

With this renovation, the museum and the Public Information Library (BPI), the first public reading room in Paris, will have a common entrance. “Through the common entrance, it is a question of reaffirming the unique personality of the Center Pompidou: a place where all forms of creation, all disciplines, all audiences are invited, meet and have the right of citizenship. months marked by isolation, let’s rediscover the sense of sharing and conviviality around the artists and the events that promise such a great summer at the Center Pompidou “, says Serge Lasvignes, president of the Center Pompidou.

Signature of the futuristic building of the architect Renzo Piano inaugurated in 1977, the “caterpillar” which makes it possible to discover old Paris, as one goes up from floor to floor, has also been redone, even if its exterior appearance has not changed. After forty years of intensive use and more than 250 million users, it was necessary to replace the escalators and modernize the passageways by improving their thermal comfort, particularly in summer. All the glass panels of the track and the passageways have therefore been replaced.

Good news, as at the origin of the Center, the public can freely use the caterpillar to go up to admire the exceptional view, without having to pay a ticket. And access to the Forums on the ground floor and in the basement remains free to attend events such as debates and performances.

On June 26 and 27, the Center Pompidou will offer a festive weekend with artists and performers during which access to the permanent collection of the National Museum of Modern Art will be free.

The Center Pompidou will close completely at the end of 2023 for a second, much larger project, before reopening its doors in early 2027: it will consist of its asbestos removal and its renovation in order to meet safety standards, various technical, fire-fighting standards, etc. . It will also be a question of obtaining energy savings and making it more accessible to the disabled.

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