MVRDV’s masterplan for ZAC Bastide Niel in Bordeaux, France continues. First revealed almost a decade ago, this ambitious plan to create a contemporary take on the historic European city has seen a number of projects recently gaining approval or beginning construction.
MVRDV's masterplan proposal to transform 35ha of former barracks and railyards in the centre of Bordeaux is an unprecedented opportunity to contribute to European urbanism. The design answers the question of how to create a vibrant neighbourhood that is in the tradition of the European city, but at the same time an update of it: historic, mixed and intimate, light, green, and dense.
The public spaces of the masterplan incorporate as much greenery as possible, with a huge variety of plant species, as well as water features to keep the surroundings cool in hot weather. Streets and public squares are designed to be porous, allowing them to absorb rainwater and floods – an important consideration due to the masterplan’s location in the Garonne river floodplain.
Similarly, buildings in Bastide Niel must be designed with their impact upon the environment in mind. The masterplan stipulates that buildings in the neighbourhood should be light colours, reflecting sunlight and reducing the urban heat island effect; they should integrate solar panels and greenery into their roofs and loggias; and they should use wood construction whenever possible, minimising the carbon emissions of construction.
The 144 plots of the masterplan host buildings from a diversity of architectural practices. The majority of projects are developed by local architects from the Bordeaux region, but the neighbourhood also features a significant number of designs by French architects from further afield, as well as a small number of projects by international designers. MVRDV itself is represented among this field, with La Vallée Verte starting construction in recent months. MVRDV’s Urban Studio coordinates with the architects of each project, including the team of La Vallée Verte in MVRDV’s Paris office, to ensure the cohesive realisation of all aspects of the masterplan.
See the Bastide Niel masterplan in more detail here.