Centre Pompidou strikes deal to open branch in David Chipperfield's forthcoming Shanghai art museum
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Centre Pompidou strikes deal to open branch in David Chipperfield's forthcoming Shanghai art museum

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The Centre Pompidou will establish a branch within Shanghai’s forthcoming West Bund Art Museum, designed by British architect David Chipperfield.

The state-owned West Bund Group, which is developing the city’s Xuhui Waterfront, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Centre Pompidou to initiate a renewable cultural cooperation project between France and China from 2019-2024.

More than 20 exhibitions and events will take place at the Centre Pompidou Shanghai (West Bund) showcasing contemporary Chinese art during the first five years of its existence, along with bilateral academic exchanges and training.

Chipperfield’s 25,000sq m museum building will be located on a swathe of waterfront dedicated to the public realm. Three stacked exhibition gallery volumes, each around 18m tall, will feature on the northern, southern and western sides of the site, with top-floor windows looking out towards downtown Shanghai, the local Huangpu river bank and a park to the south.

Construction is already underway, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

The West Bund Group is responsible for the comprehensive development, operation and management of a nine square kilometre area, focusing on the implementation of the West Bund Culture Corridor. Nicknamed the Museum Mile, the area will include the Long Museum West Bund, the Yuz Museum, the Shanghai Center of Photography and the Tank Shanghai Art Park, as well as the West Bund Media Port and the Shanghai Dream Center.

The original Centre Pompidou opened in Paris in 1977, and has grown over four decades to become one of the world’s most visited cultural attractions. Its collection of modern art, one of the two largest in Europe, comprises almost 120,000 pieces. As such, it has announced a series of ambitious expansion plans for both the original building and in new locations.

In addition to the Shanghai branch, there is also a Pompidou in the French city of Metz, and another will follow in Brussels – with seven architectural practices currently in contention to design that museum.

Last year, Mike Davies, one of the architects who designed the original centre, told CLADglobal about the “terrific fight” Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano and the rest of the design team had with the French architectural establishment to realise their “radical” vision for the controversial project.

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The Centre Pompidou will establish a branch within Shanghai’s forthcoming West Bund Art Museum, designed by British architect David Chipperfield.
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