On our way to the Center Pompidou, we found Rue de la Ferronnerie, the street Henry IV was assassinated on. The Louvre has its contemporary elements, but they are very formal compared to the Pompidou, whose skinless superstructure is as much of a bike locked to a fence as it is a building. I also notice that once you are in the gallery spaces inside the Pompidou, you and everything else in those spaces become part of the art and exhibits: the guards who watch the exhibit spaces in their informal dress and hairstyles, the visitors, the views, the elements of the building, the sculptures and the paintings all interact to make the Pompidou a dynamic, contemporary art space.
While the Pompidou works well as a contemporary art space, it’s not the best when it comes to circulation and comfort — especially the tubes on the west side of the structure that contain the escalators that give people access to the different levels of the building. They look cool from the outside, but the are very hot, and not much fun to be in on a sunny afternoon.
The second and last photos are contemporary elements of the Louvre — the light structure of the pyramids and the heavy X of the escalators are so well ordered and formal compared to the pipes, cables and tubes that make the Pompidou look rather a mess.