De­sign as part of Bordeaux's per­ma­nent, evolv­ing land­scape

Bordeaux J'Adore - - ◆ —— Rising Star —— ◆ -

These ma­jor new ar­chi­tec­tural land­marks re­veal the city com­mit­ment to de­sign: Eu­rat­lan­tique, La MECA, the Rem Kool­haas bridge, the Cité Frugès and the Saint James ho­tel.

Con­struc­tion is un­der­way on MECA, the fu­ture cen­tre for vis­ual arts, per­form­ing arts, lit­er­a­ture and film. De­signed by Dan­ish ar­chi­tects Big and French stu­dio Freaks freearchi­tects, the rec­tan­gu­lar build­ing will have a hol­low in the mid­dle, cre­at­ing a gi­ant stage open to the water­front. It's be­ing built out of lime­stone, in keep­ing with the city's his­toric build­ings. Lo­cated on the Palu­date quay, a few paces from Gare St. Jean, it is at the heart of the new Eu­rat­lan­tique district. Bordeaux's Eu­rat­lan­tique is a mas­sive ur­ban plan­ning project that is trans­form­ing the south­east­ern tip of the city. The key projects in­clude the new busi­ness district Bordeaux St. Jean Belcier, de­signed around the ren­o­vated train sta­tion and a com­plete re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the water­front, the new district on the op­po­site side of the river ‘Garonne Eif­fel‘, and a new 80-hectare district Bè­gles Garonne along the water­front with the fu­ture Jean-jac­ques Bosc bridge. The project in­cludes thou­sands of square me­tres of of­fice and re­tail shop space, ho­tels, hous­ing

for stu­dents, the el­derly and artists and 50 hectares of green space.

The fu­ture Jean-jac­ques Bosc bridge, de­signed by Rem Kool­haas and his agency OMA, will open in 2018. A min­i­mal­ist plat­form 44 me­tres wide and 549 me­tres long will tra­verse the river, with the goal of re­think­ing how we use bridges, link­ing the ur­ban land­scape on the Left Bank and a meadow on the Right Bank. It will slope slightly, al­low­ing for boat traf­fic un­der­neath, but will still be flat enough to dou­ble as a space ded­i­cated to pub­lic events. There will be space for dif­fer­ent modes of traf­fic – cars, tram, bikes, but the widest 'lane' will be for pedes­tri­ans.

The Cité Frugès was de­signed by French-swiss ar­chi­tect Le Cor­bus­ier. Com­pleted in 1925, the idea was to build low­cost hous­ing for work­ers in a su­gar fac­tory in Pes­sac, a sub­urb of Bordeaux. The bold Mod­ernist style shocked many at the time, and it fell into dis­use. The town of Pes­sac led a re­vival of in­ter­est in Cité Frugès, lead­ing to its grad­ual re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. Today it's an ap­peal­ing ex­am­ple of Le Cor­bus­ier's five points of ar­chi­tec­ture. It was clas­si­fied a UNESCO World Her­itage site in 2016.

The Ho­tel Saint James is a lux­ury ho­tel and restau­rant lo­cated in Bou­liac, a vil­lage on the Right Bank of the Garonne river. De­signed by French ar­chi­tect Jean Nou­vel, the ho­tel opened in 1989 in the mid­dle of a vine­yard and of­fers a panoramic view of Bordeaux. It's be­come a land­mark for de­sign with Nou­vel's rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of the tobacco sheds of the re­gion. Nou­vel also de­signed friendly, func­tional fur­ni­ture for the ho­tel, in­clud­ing a desk, chair, ot­toman, and ‘very high‘ beds made from beech­wood.

PHOTO BIG - REICHEN ET ROBERT ASSOCÍES / REM KOOL­HAAS

The south of the city will change soon with the MECA and the bridge de­signed by Rem Kool­haas.

PHOTO ERIC DESPUJOLS

The Cité Frugès by Le Cor­bus­ier.

PHOTO THIERRY DAVID

The con­tem­po­rary lounge at the Saint James.

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