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June 21, 2012

Architects selected to design cultural centre in Bordeaux, France

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The Regional Council of Bordeaux in France has selected a group of architects to design a new 12,000m² cultural centre.

The winning team comprises of Denmark-based architecture company Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), FREAKS freearchitects, dUCKS sceno, Khephren Ingenierie, VPEAS, ALTO Ingenierie, Vincent Hedont, PBNL, Mryk & Moriceau, and Ph.A.

The centre, to be called Maison de l’ Economie Creative et de la Culture en Aquitaine (MECA), will be built on the Bordeaux riverfront.

After completion the centre will house three regional visual and performing arts agencies – FRAC, the ECLA and the OARA – in one single building.

The three agencies will have shared facilities around an outdoor urban room that will face towards Bordeaux and the Garonne river.

The urban room can be used to showcase artworks, stage performances or screen films.

BIG founding partner Bjarke Ingels said that the MECA will spill its activities into the public realm and the urban room, and it will also allow the public to walk around, through, above and below the new cultural gateway.

"By inviting the art into the city and the city into the arts, the MECA will provide opportunities for new hybrids of cultural and social life beyond the specific definitions of its constituent parts," Ingels said.

The building will feature the outdoor urban room, a restaurant and a cafe, and natural daylight in the building will spread through all the exhibition and office spaces.

The centre will be built as a single loop of public space and cultural spaces, with the pavement of the promenade rising to form the roof of the main lobbies.

Limestone will be used to cover the building and promenade around the structure, matching the architecture of Bordeaux.

The outside of the MECA can be transformed into a stage for outdoor concerts, theatrical spectacles or art installations during festivals or other special occasions in the city.

The winning team beat off competition from Sanaa, W-Architectures and Flint to secure the design contract.

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