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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

ZAC Bastide Niel in Bordeaux, France by MVRDV

January 19th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: MVRDV

Bastide Niel will become a lively extension to the city centre with a mixed program of 3200 homes, 25.000 m2 retail , 25.000 m2 offices, 15.000 m2 crafts and 58.000 m2 public facilities such as a university building, the municipal archives, a cultural building, a community centre, schools, day care centres and sport facilities, such as a skate park. The 35ha site near the Garonne River lies within walking distance from the historic UNESCO listed centre of Bordeaux and is currently occupied by warehouses, redundant barracks and rail embankments. The question was how to create a vibrant neighbourhood in tradition of but as well as an update of the European city: historic, mixed and intimate; light, green and dense.

Roof view

  • Architects: MVRDV
  • Project: ZAC Bastide Niel
  • Location: Bordeaux, France

Bastide Niel

The existing historic structures have served as basis for the master plan which follows the rail tracks and the lay-out of the barracks. All historic structures, railways, and platforms will be maintained and maximally densified, this new interpretation of the history makes the existing an active part and starting point for the new. Around these artefacts a network of 6 to 10 meter narrow streets is created leading to a safe traffic system with equal rights for cars, public transport, bikes and pedestrians. Most streets are one-way, serviced from the riverside or from the opposite avenue, whilst the tramway will be safely isolated on a special lane. This road, alley and lane network results in an intimate, capillary city with 144 city blocks. Inhabitants will live in an urban environment comparable to a historic city centre.

Street view

The envelopes developed by strictly applied light rules allow flexibility: ground floors may accommodate either residences, offices or shops. In-between and inside the blocks is space for small parks, pocket gardens and squares which add additional green to the large riverside Parc aux Angéliques designed by Michel Desvignes. Due to the vicinity of the river, parking will be solved above ground level. To achieve rich architectural variety the 144 blocks will be commissioned to 144 different architecture offices. The zero energy ambition is reached through a series of interventions: A geothermal installation will pump up heat from 1 km depth. On the roofs and south facades of the buildings solar panels will be placed to produce electricity. The roof height allows each building to receive sun light at ground level whilst the volumes are restricted to 15 meters depth allowing natural ventilation from two sides. Based on these roof parameters a contemporary European city roofscape emerges.






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