Design as part of Bordeaux's permanent, evolving landscape
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.