Centre Pompidou × Jersey City
A major step towards Jersey City’s new leading cultural destination In partnership with the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France Architectural museum project by OMA Architecture, New York
Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the Centre Pompidou join New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to announce an international partnership initiating the Centre Pompidou × Jersey City project – the Centre Pompidou’s first and only North American partnership exclusively selected with the City of Jersey City. This unique cultural cooperation between France and the United States of America will launch a strong partnership aiming to reinvent, develop and activate Jersey City Journal Square’s iconic Pathside Building, located adjacent to the PATH in the New York Metropolitan area’s most thriving city, under the design leadership of architects OMA/Jason Long.
Scheduled to open in early 2024, the Centre Pompidou × Jersey City museum will become an all-new leading international cultural hub located at the heart of historic Journal Square, serving as a dynamic destination for residents and attracting visitors from all over the region, reflecting the energy and diversity of Jersey City’s burgeoning arts community.
The Centre Pompidou will provide its expertise to create an ambitious program emphasizing education via hands-on artistic and cultural experiences, with a community component central to Jersey City’s ambitious and inclusive vision for the future, making the Centre Pompidou × Jersey City a promising multidisciplinary art laboratory for cultural and educational programming.
With the addition of exclusive exhibitions created with the modern and contemporary art masterpieces from the Paris Centre Pompidou’s collection, as well as tailor-made and diversified events at the crossroads of all disciplines, the Centre Pompidou × Jersey City’s cultural agenda (to be revealed at a later date) will offer an effervescent fusion of art and ideas.
In 2018, the Fulop Administration acquired the Pathside Building, located in the heart of one of the busiest transportation hubs in the tri-state area, and a 15-minute PATH train ride from both Lower Manhattan and Newark Penn Station. The City purchased the 58,000 square-feet building (5,400 square-meters). While the building was slated for residential units at the time, the Fulop Administration made a commitment to instead try to optimize the building to establish Jersey City as a larger destination for the arts.
The international partnership being announced today is the culmination of a strategic plan and cultural partner search by the creative consultants Jersey City had hired in 2019, OMA New York, led by Partner Jason Long. This effort included both engagement with the Jersey City community and discussions with a number of potential partners both within and outside the US. Centre Pompidou’s history as an institution dedicated to multiple forms of contemporary art and culture, its dedication to education and cultural organizations match Jersey City’s and the community’s ambitions for the building. In the coming months, OMA /Jason Long will work with Jersey City and the Centre Pompidou on the design of the Centre Pompidou × Jersey City within the historic Pathside Building.
Developed in close collaboration with local creatives and residents, inviting international art professionals as well as prospecting for emerging talents from all walks of life, the Centre Pompidou × Jersey City future program will appeal to the broadest and most diverse possible audiences, offering a unique form of cultural outreach in the City, the State and far beyond, to address today’s changes in society, perfectly embodied by Jersey City’s exciting transformations.
Quotes from the partners’ representatives:
Mayor Steven Fulop – City of Jersey City (NJ, USA)
“As the largest modern and contemporary art collection in Europe, the Centre Pompidou is the perfect partner to carry out our vision and solidify Journal Square as a regional anchor for the arts” said Mayor Fulop. “When the Pathside building was slated for high-rise development, we saw a unique opportunity to change its trajectory to better serve the City as a museum and community center. Today, that commitment is not only coming to fruition, but we’ve raised the bar with a tremendous international partnership that will bring world-class opportunities to Jersey City. This is the latest major step towards our broader revitalization goals, utilizing all our City has to offer and establishing Journal Square as a cultural destination for generations to come.”
Governor Phil Murphy – State of New Jersey (USA)
“The partnership between the Centre Pompidou and Jersey City will create a unique and iconic anchor for Journal Square and for the City,” said Governor Murphy. “We are proud to welcome the Centre Pompidou to New Jersey and we look forward to the opening of what is destined to become one of the premier cultural attractions in North America.”
First Lady Tammy Murphy – State of New Jersey (USA)
“Centre Pompidou has long been one of Europe’s leading cultural treasures” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “As the state that is both first in the nation to provide universal arts education to our public-school students as well as the home to over 700 arts organizations, New Jersey is uniquely able to appreciate all that this incredible partnership will provide. We look forward to welcoming this storied cultural institution to Jersey City and the meaningful relationships, dialogues, and new perspectives that will undoubtedly come from it.”
President Serge Lasvignes – Centre Pompidou (Paris, FR)
“I am delighted to announce this ambitious initiative with Jersey City, the very first of its kind and importance in America for the Centre Pompidou” said Centre Pompidou’s President Serge Lasvignes. “Our ongoing experiments in Metz (France), Málaga (Spain), Brussels (Belgium) and Shanghai (China) have proven the strength and appropriateness of our way to go outside of our walls and conclude innovative partnerships. I am so happy and grateful that the Centre Pompidou will open a dialogue with the USA from Jersey City, such a very dynamic and diverse community.”
Jason Long – OMA Partner and Centre Pompidou × Jersey City’s Chief Architect (NYC, NY, USA)
“We worked closely with Jersey City to find the best partner to help create a unique new art center for Journal Square within
a historic structure rich with potential,” said OMA Partner Jason Long. “The Centre Pompidou, a multidimensional institution
that from its founding has crossed disciplines and cultures, was both a perfect fit and a provocation to use the building in unexpected ways. We look forward to working with Mayor Fulop, Jersey City and the Centre Pompidou in transforming the Pathside building into a revolutionary new space for art, culture and community whose impact will be felt far beyond New Jersey.”
The building, located at 25 Journal Square, was constructed in 1912 originally as a PSE&G (Public Service Electric and Gas Company, provider of gas and electric service) office building. In 1995, the building underwent a major renovation to create new classrooms and a library for Hudson Community College and served as part of the college’s urban campus until 2017.
The City of Jersey City acquired the building in 2017 with the intention to create a new arts and cultural hub for Journal Square and the city. The existing building retains many original historic elements including original brick masonry with terra cotta/cast stone copings, parapet, cornicen, trim, and a limestone/cast stone ground level band and main entrance. Historic elements will be preserved and restored to highlight the building’s storied past.
The building is 4 stories high with a cellar. The total floor area of the building, all floors, is approximately 58,000 square-feet (5,400 square-meters), with a floorplate not dissimilar from many leading arts institutions. The building’s structure allows for generous, flexible open spaces for use as galleries and spaces for a variety of other cultural uses.
Generous floor-to-ceiling heights and ample access to daylight offer a number of opportunities for the future fit-out of the existing building. The building directly adjoins the Journal Square Transportation Center, and the Journal Square station of the PATH rail transit system, with easy access to the larger metropolitan region. The western facade of the building faces onto a wide concrete pedestrian walkway that directly connects the PATH transit system with Sip Ave and Journal Square.
About Jersey City’s Journal Square
Since its establishment in 1912, Journal Square has been a major public transportation hub servicing Jersey City and adjacent communities, including New York City.
In 2017, it saw 8.3 million people pass through the Journal Square PATH Station, with 22,500 daily users on average. The 13,000 new dwelling units, as well as multiple new office and retail projects, position the neighborhood’s volume of development as greater than that of Long Island City or Downtown LA in the last decade.
Historically, Journal Square was not only a transportation hub but also a cultural and business center in Jersey City. Today, as a result of the Fulop Administrations investments in the neighborhood, it is regaining its cultural reputation with a growing arts community and a young, diverse population.
Other recent cultural developments in Jersey City include the Landmark Loew’s Theatre, Scitech Scity, NJCU Performing Arts Center, Provost Square Performing Arts Theater, and Nimbus Dance Works – The Lively.
About the Centre Pompidou
The Centre Pompidou is the leading French national cultural institution established in Paris in 1977. It incorporates the Musée national d’art moderne, which houses the richest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world. More than 3.5 million visitors pour through its doors every year to take in the Museum’s collection, temporary exhibitions, seminars, festivals, shows and workshops made accessible for everyone.
From magnificent historical archives to the newest art forms, the collection encompasses the realms of visual arts, photography, new media, graphic arts, experimental cinema, architecture and design. It contains more than 120,000 works and is a genuine worldwide reference in 20th and 21st century art. The Centre Pompidou also hosts a cutting-edge contemporary music research laboratory (Ircam), one of the central city’s largest Public Libraries (Bpi) and the Kandinsky Library (bibliothèque Kandinsky) displaying one of the most diverse collections of modern and contemporary art-related documents and archives in the world. Deeply rooted in the city and wide open to the world and to innovation, the Centre Pompidou examines major societal issues and the ever-changing nature of the modern world through the lens of creativity. The iconic building, designed by world-renowned architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, accommodates a hugely diverse program covering all disciplines and appealing to all audiences.
True to its spirit of openness and keen to share its collection and expertise, the Centre Pompidou extends beyond its Paris walls to meet new territories and new demographics, putting on various regional events, in the form of exhibitions, loans or long-term partnerships with local authorities. The Centre Pompidou-Metz, which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary, is a beautiful example of this local anchoring, being today the most visited center of modern and contemporary art in France, outside the Île-de-France region. Internationally and alongside touring major exhibitions and events worldwide throughout the year, the Centre Pompidou consolidates its unique development model consisting in “co-constructing”, for a period of typically 5 years, with international partners, projects that take local expectations and features into account, rather than establishing subsidiaries.
The Centre Pompidou has thus successively and successfully launched the Centre Pompidou Málaga in Spain (since 2015 and renewed in 2020), KANAL-Centre Pompidou Brussels in Belgium (since 2018) and the Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Project in Shanghai, China (since 2019). The Centre Pompidou × Jersey City project will be the Centre Pompidou’s latest and newest form of international partnership, the first ever to take place in North America. Scheduled to open in 2024, at a time the Paris building will be undergoing its most ambitious upgrade since 1977, and while an abounding program of events will be deployed in France and worldwide, this new location in the United States will again prove the Centre Pompidou’s ability to constantly and consistently reinvent itself, investing in new territories, always imagining new ways for the Arts and Culture to meet the people, everywhere.
About OMA/Jason Long
OMA is a leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism and cultural analysis.
OMA maintains offices in Rotterdam, New York and Hong Kong. OMA New York is responsible for OMA’s operations in the Americas and Japan and has overseen the successful completion of several buildings across the United States, including Milstein Hall at Cornell University (2011); the Wyly Theater in Dallas (2009); the Faena Forum, a multi-purpose cultural venue in Miami Beach (2016); and the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, an extension to the Quebec National Museum (2016).
Jason Long is a Partner at OMA and leads a diverse portfolio in the Americas. In addition to Centre Pompidou × Jersey City, Jason is focused on a number of adaptive reuse projects including POST Houston, the transformation of a historic post office warehouse into a mixed-use hub with a cultural anchor; and the renovation of the historic Fitzgerald Building at University of Toronto. Jason is also leading the design of the 11th Street Bridge Park, a new elevated green space in Washington, D.C.