Matisse, Picasso, Miró, Pollock and Brancusi have already moved in and can be admired in their own new home. Shigeru Ban says that in designing the idiosyncratic new construction, he was inspired by the “architecture” of traditional Chinese hats woven from rice straw – albeit on a considerably distorted floor plan. The offices, with their large, smooth windows, were accommodated in the angular transoms of Centre Pompidou in Metz, and appear to have been pushed into the hat. These white cubes were highlighted by the flatness of the Alucobond® elements in pure white. The new 10,000- square metre centre for the arts in north eastern France does not exhibit any collection of its own but makes use of works stored at the Paris centre, which, with more than 65,000 works, owns the largest collection of contemporary and modern art in Europe.
For the City of Metz, the new art centre means so much that it can also be described as the “new Metz cathedral”.