Position: Collaborating Architect
Project status: Conceptual phase / Study phase
The Project is located in Bordeaux on the right bank of the Garonne river, the land area is of 600,000 sqm. The unique nature of the district can be summed up in what it offers the city; a direct relationship to the river and the surrounding landscape, a generous scale of construction and a sense of limitless potential. We have sought to explore this potential through an unfettered approach to urban planning that seeks to generate a network of relationships between the people, the Garonne and the surrounding countryside. The primary function of this landscaped expanse is to reconfigure the relationship between the people and the city. Although they play an important structuring role, we feel that large green spaces can also be vectors of another kind of urbanism, one that is open, surprising and separate from the inappropriate and burdensome rules of the traditional city. This lays the foundation for a new neighborhood in which it is possible to experience the city differently from almost any point of view – under a tree, near a school, or at home.
The basis of our proposal is the creation of one-off housing. Envisaged as a powerful attractor, it will create a new way to live, in freedom and in passionate association with the Garonne, nature and distant views. Like an echo of Brazza’s existing architectural heritage, we aim to develop inhabitable volumes rather than surfaces - places genuinely capable of being used, not just spaces to be filled. We seek to add an “elsewhere” to housing, to create a relationship with geographic infinity by stretching the limits of its outer skin, projecting life into the landscape and increasing useable outdoor spaces. Here, houses straddle the Garonne, there, a large public space is to be created near the water, further off, dense clusters of housing merge with a park. Where it is efficient, density will be managed without any dogmatic approach. The volumes, though dedicated primarily to housing, may also be used as workshops, offices or exhibition halls, depending on needs and possibilities. Large and generous spaces, polyvalent and modular in nature, will be flexible enough to cater to an array of daily needs. By working on the flexibility of floor plans and buildings, we will increase our chances to be able to meet unexpected needs.