The new Pompidou Center-Metz, which opened on May 12 and was designed by architects Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines, is a four-story steel-and-concrete hexagon with a 250-foot central spire. The spectacular undulating roof is a masterpiece of modern carpentry, a “hexagon of hexagons” using 650 tons of wood-mostly Austrian and Swiss spruce, with additional beech and larch-woven into double-level, six-beam frames, covered by translucent fiberglass-and-Teflon fabric “skin”. The opening exhibit, Chefs-d’Oeuvre?, fills the center’s entire 54,000 square feet of exhibit space with nearly 800 works of art.

All photos courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects Europe et Jean de Gastines Architects/Metz Métropole/Centre Pompidou Metz

Originally published in the May 2010 issue of France Today.

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