Rebels from the '70
Why is it that architects like the Pompidou Centre? From the view of Sacre Coeur Basilica's esplanade it seems natural to question Rogers and Piano's artifact. It just seems to hurt that unique urban elegance of the city and push it away from its almost perfect aesthetics. Paris is exquisite, beautifully planned, romantic, neat, scenographic and built with catalog like architecture. So why would you put that pile garish coloured pipes in the city of Garnier's Opera?
Sure, it's not a question, but perhaps because of college education, I can't help to like the Pompidou a little bit. I understand its reasons, the whole speech: the square, the competition, the program, the gerberettes, its ladders and pipes. I even like how Renzo Piano explains that cataloging his building as High Tech is wrong; because if it would be a spaceship it would be a Jules Verne's one, not a real NASA space shuttle. Was the speech responsible for this acceptance? Were the explanations of authors, jury and authorities the reason for me to accept this building as good architecture? I keep having doubts about this. No one questions Garnier's Opera and nobody would question the Pompidou centre if it was in Buenos Aires immersed in all its characteristic heterogeneity. However there is something annoying in the insertion of the building in this homogeneous and aesthetically coherent city.
The simultaneous acceptance and rejection I feel for this architectural piece keeps intriguing me. I feel as if its purpose in the world is just annoying me. Is it possible that Piano and Rogers only took into account the hardest parameters of urban fabric such as circulations, public space, density and other values, but didn't count aesthetics as one more of environment's parameters to design without "stylistic boundings"? Another alternative is that the once young architects chose instead of drawing graffitis in Shoreditch, wearing mohawks in Camden or lazing around with motor scooters in Verona's streets, to express themselves with an aesthetically rebel building in Paris. Yes, it must be that, this latter theory is the one I chose to believe, it cannot be another way. It is a rebel manifestation against the architectural establishment by an impudent Italian and his hooligan friend. Two skilled starchitects with the wink of an eye of a Brazilian communist who couldn't be controlled and they got away with it. They draw an amazing architectural graffiti in one of the all time most beautiful cities in the world, and neither Garnier or Abadie could do anything about it.