TJIBAOU CULTURAL CENTRE
Completed in May 1998, the Tjibaou Cultural Centre is a spectacular edifice rising on the Tina peninsula in Noumea. It is named in recognition of the Kanak leader, Jean-Marie Tjibaou and his contribution to the nation's cultural developments.
EXPRESSION OF A NATION'S SOUL
The structure was designed by Renzo Piano, who was responsible for the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris and Kansai International Airport in Japan.
A harmonious alliance of traditional Kanak and modern architecture, there are ten pavilions connected along a spine evoking the central alley of a typical Kanak village. The design also highlights the culture's symbiotic relationship with nature as the Kanak pathway passes through gardens with traditional 'case' or houses representing the three main regions of New Caledonia - the North, the South and the Loyalty Islands.
In Kanaka house, visitors view a multimedia presentation including an eight minute video. Bwenaado 'case' houses an exhibition of artistic and historical items from the Kanak heritage, and Jinu house illustrates the spirit of all the Pacific cultures with fifteen monumental sculptures.
A collection of contemporary Kanak and Pacific art is housed in the gallery space and the Mediatheque resource centre contains a wide range of documentary resources on Kanak and Pacific cultures.
In addition, there are three theatres for performances, the indoor seating 400 and two outdoor spaces holding 1,000 and 2,000.
The Tjibaou Cultural Centre is reached by local bus from the city terminal or on tours available from major hotels. Guided tours can be provided in English, French and Japanese (booking required).
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