Program : dwellings, office and commercial activities
Client : Bordeaux Euratlantique + BNP Paribas
Architect : ECDM Architectes – Project manager : Benjamin Ferrer
Mission : conception and coordination
Team : Cobé / Flint / AIA / Forten

Location : ZAC Belcier – Bordeaux (33)
Surface : 37 275 m² (dwellings) + 8 505 m² (office) + 3 405 m² (hostel) + 1 050 m² (cinema) + 2 950 m² (business incubator)
Cost : 72.5€ VAT
Delivery : 2022
Environnemental label : HQETM Bâtiment durable

The idea that the city pre-existed the project, abstract, diffuse, not very visible, forced us to be more acutely aware, to pay more attention in order to reveal and multiply points of view and perceptions. The workshop work played its role as a revelation by crossing experiences and images, words and stories from multiple origins.

Thus, the definition of shared values, conducive to the creation of a living environment, sought to reveal the unifying elements specific to the Belcier district in order to inscribe the project in a Bordeaux history, an attractive history, in, around, and beyond the limits of the project. The Saint-Jean – Belcier operation is part of a territory undergoing major changes, strongly marked by its industrial past and its infrastructure landscape.

The district is characterized by an assembly of isolated pieces, often on an XXL scale, where the void constitutes a majority element that creates a distanced public space in comparison to the historic city where the fabric is made up and the boundaries of public spaces more defined. The public spaces of Bordeaux, as different as they are, undoubtedly constitute one of the main archetypes of the city. We are interested here in two urban fabrics: that of the Saint-Jean – Belcier district and that of the historic city centre, in order to briefly analyse their differences and to understand the potential for mutation of the empty spaces of the territory in which we operate.


. The city centre – The historic city

Public space defined by the scale of the street and marked by a set of squares of varying sizes. It is punctuated and connected by a series of “neighbourhood” squares which, more than the architecture itself, creates the quality of life in Bordeaux’s city centre.


. Saint-Jean – Belcier – The changing city

Public space with less defined boundaries which becomes the support for often isolated objects. Often characterized by uses linked to mobility, it nevertheless releases a more diversified potential for appropriation. The project very precisely extends the public space inside the plot and then radiates from the polarity thus defined by proceeding through successive recesses in order to connect, restore this collective space to the city and inhabit the center of the block.

This bias which allowed us to set up an iterative reflection with all the speakers during the workshops led to a proposal which seems to us to answer the problem of the fabrication of a piece of current Bordeaux city. The limits of public spaces and neighboring buildings naturally draw the contours of the future project and produce different qualities, gradations of characterized spaces, all in resonance with the archetypes of Bordeaux public spaces.

The project resolutely inscribed in the history of Bordeaux is hyper-contextual.