The 7,000m2 project of Rotterdam based office BARCODE Architects and Paris based office Haber Autrement is part of the masterplan ‘Bassin a Flots’ designed by ANMA/ Nicolas Michelin, an extensive redevelopment of the harbour area at the westbank of the Gironne in Bordeaux.
The slender 90 meter long and 21 meter tall building presents itself as a pure monolith volume stretching out over the entire length of the site. The facades are designed as a cut out of the characteristic saw tooth roof, a reference to the architecture of the former harbour area. The opposing facades are mirrored which creates an expressive and dynamic volume. Also for the materialization the reference to former harbour activity was leading. The façade and the roof are both made out of silvery coloured aluminium panels. The striking profiling of the chosen aluminium Kalzip sheets brings about a stunning interplay of light and shadow while at the same time generating a consistent and serene image.
The material continuity lends the building a monolithic quality, which is reinforced by the regular geometry and consistent rhythm of the openings and the cladding. On ground level this rhythm is interrupted by larger openings which mark the entrees for the public facilities, such as the restaurant and the fitness. A two-story high public passage guides visitors into an inner garden at which the day-care centre, situated on the first floor, has direct access.
‘Pôle de Compétences’ is one of the first buildings developed in the area of ‘Bassin a Flots’. The design of BARCODE Architects and Habiter Autrement represents a fresh new architecture for the former harbor area, a meaningful quality boost for the waterfront of the Gironne.