Centre Georges Pompidou
Beaubourg, as it is usually known, was designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers (then celebrities-to-be) and completed in 1977. The high-tech structure, with its mechanical elements externalised via bright tubes and ducts (colour-coded, fact fans), houses the national collection of modern art, a public library, plus cinema, performance and exhibition spaces, and Georges restaurant (see Eat). There’s a partial rehang each year, and regular retrospectives and themed shows: Alexander Calder and Kandinski in 2009; an all-women blockbuster in 2010. A quick how-to: buy your tickets on the ground floor, then head up to level four to see art since 1960, and level five for 1905-1960.