Explore seven decades of Parisian architecture

Tan Weiyun
The exhibition "Architectures of Greater Paris" highlights the modern capital as imagined by a new generation of architects in the aftermath of World War II.
Tan Weiyun

West Bund Museum in collaboration with Parisian art museum Centre Pompidou is presenting the exhibition "Architectures of Greater Paris."

With a selection of Parisian architecture constructed between 1948 and 2020, the exhibition highlights the modern capital as imagined by a new generation of architects in the aftermath of World War II. It traces the evolution of a region that continues to expand and is destined to become Greater Paris.

The 75 projects chosen from Centre Pompidou's architecture collection make up an anthology that represents different periods in Parisian town planning. Nearly 120 original building models, drawings, photos and documents of both little-known and prestigious historical projects are on display, providing a critical review of the city's transformations.

Explore seven decades of Parisian architecture
Centre Pompidou

Ministry of the Economy and Finance, Paris, 1982-1988

In a chronological layout that opens with a panorama of architecture photographs room after room, visitors discover edifices that illustrate the evolution of stylistic trends, from the brutalism of reinforced concrete constructions to the lightness of buildings made with steel. The questions that inspired architects also evolved: how to relate new creations to the old city.

Social housing has a strong presence, with innovative experiments contrasting with large complexes – the towers of Emile Aillaud (1973-1981) and the renovation of the city center of Ivry-sur-Seine by Renée Gailhoustet and Jean Renaudie (1969-1982).

Visitors will go through the long-term adventure that was the creation of Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (1967-2003), and get closer to the major works of President François Mitterand – La Villette Park by Bernard Tschumi (1982-1998), Cité de la Musique by Christian de Portzamparc (1984- 1995) and Bibliothèque Nationale de France by Dominique Perrault (1989-1995).

Very tall buildings have gone up over the years – housing in Croulebarbe Tower (1957-1960), offices in Montparnasse Tower (1958-1973), a cultural institution with Centre Pompidou (1971- 1977), and more recently Tribunal de Paris (the Paris courts, 2010-2017).

Some creators had the opportunity to leave their print on the capital, such as the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art (1991-1994), Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac Museum (1996-2006) and Paris Philharmonic (2006-2015).

Explore seven decades of Parisian architecture
Centre Pompidou

La Villette, Paris, 1982-1998

Exhibition info

Dates: Through February 20 (closed on Mondays), 10am-5pm

Venue: Gallery 3, West Bund Museum

Address: 2600 Longteng Avenue

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