The Pompidou Center, commonly known as Beaubourg, changed the face of Paris when it opened in 1977 in a rundown neighborhood that once had been the public market. It houses, among other things, the Musée National d'Art Moderne, the largest modern art museum in Europe, and IRCAM, a center for music and acoustic research. The museum holds block-buster exhibitions and attracts several million visitors a year. Out front the Place Pompidou is a vibrant gathering of street performers, sketch artists and musicians. The high-tech architecture by Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini won out in an international competition judged by Oscar Niemeyer, Jean Prouvé and Philip Johnson Museum.
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France