Beaubourg Chair by Michel Cadestin and Georges Laurent.
A chair from the house of many names: In Germany usually called „Centre Pompidou“, among the French also known as „Centre Beaubourg“, officially the „Centre national d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou“ – and unofficially „La Raffinerie“. Originally conceived as a representative museum for 20th century art, the task of relieving the old Paris National Library was soon added. In 1971, the jury of the architectural competition chaired by Jean Prouvé decided in favour of the project by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano. Prouvé was not an architect (but a trained art smith, artist and constructor, today one would say „designer“). On the one hand, this led to international discussions, but on the other hand it also meant that the Centre Pompidou became, as it were, a total work of art: It was not only about the building itself, but also about the furnishing of the exhibition rooms, the library and even the offices.
The architecture itself was avant-garde – but consistently functional: the building is a machine. The functions that are usually hidden inside were moved to the outer shell and remained visible: supporting structure and pipes (white), stairs and escalators (red), electrics (yellow), water (blue) and air conditioning (green). This creates large, uninterrupted areas inside, ideal for flexible use. And, of course, also an ideal target for conservative critics who saw the brute appearance as an affront. The Centre was opened in 1977 after five years of construction and today houses the Musée National d’Art Moderne (MNAM, Museum of Modern Art) and the library Bibliothèque Publique d’Information (BPI) with over 400,000 media and 2,000 reading places (as well as the music research centre IRCAM, a children’s workshop, cinema, theatre and lecture halls, a bookshop, a restaurant & café).
And it was for this library in the Centre Pompidou that the „Beaubourg Chair“ was developed. Conceived by Rogers / Piano, designed by Michel Cadestin and Georges Laurent, chosen by the jury under Jean Prouvé. The chair consists of a steel frame with a wire mesh seat and back.