by Katherine Brice in Architecture on Saturday 9 May 2009

Due for completion this year, the Centre Pompidou-Metz in France is an elegant and audacious structure. The design features a transparent polytetrafluoroethylene roofing membrane, stretched over a hexagonal lattice, thats form is derived from a ‘muak kui’ (traditional Chinese woven hat). The Centre, which is to be used predominantly as a gallery, will have both adaptable spatial and lighting options, which enhances the notion of flexibility both within the aesthetics of the building and within its function.

Designed primarily by Shigeru Ban, one of Japan’s most innovative architects, the gallery’s form is a distinctive progression from his previous architectural projects. Throughout his career, Shigeru Ban has created unique structures with his exploration into alternate sustainable building materials, such as recycled shipping containers. An example of his work was the Japanese Pavilion Building at Expo 2000, which was a 72 meter long grid shell structure made of paper tubes. The entire building was recycled at the end of the expo.

The 35 million Euro Centre Pompidou-Metz gallery will have access to the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe. The progress of the buildings’ construction can be viewed over a live web cam.