"Today considered one of the emblematic buildings of the 20th Century and taken to their hearts by Parisians, the Piano and Rogers building, often compared by critics to an oil refinery, was the subject of huge controversy throughout the 1970s."
"In 1969, President Pompidou took a decision to dedicate the Plateau Beaubourg area of Paris to the construction of a multidisciplinary cultural centre of an entirely new type. [...] A major competition for ideas was launched, in which, for the first time in our country, architects from throughout the world were invited to participate. 681 competitors from 49 different countries presented projects.
A project involving three associated architects was selected by the international jury [...] : two Italians, Renzo Piano and Gianfranco Franchini, and an Englishman, Richard Rogers, all virtually unknown at the time.
Colours have been used to decorate the structure, using a "code" defined by the architects:
- blue for circulating air (air conditioning);
- yellow for circulating electricity;
- green for circulating water;
- red for circulating people (escalators and lifts)."