What if we stopped zoning? And what if we projected an office building in the middle of a social housing district? The building Aalta in Cenon takes advantage of different economic incentives and of the development of the Bordeaux tramway to densify and create an active interface between Palmer social district and a quiet neighborhood made of small houses. In this confrontation of scales, the prevailing theory “not in my backyard” is here treated in a different way.
The residential buildings are oriented to both to the gardens and to the streets, but this paradigm is changed through this created space for activities, work, services and exchanges. The office building is part of an effort to bring functional diversity while responding to entrepreneurial issues: companies being attracted by tax-free areas to settle their headquarters for a certain time, they will be changing and the building will have to be flexible to meet these variables. It offers them greater flexibility in planning and organization, free space with minimal bearing points. However behind its neutrality, the facade has a dynamic urban aspect: undulating through streams, its white shell seems to lead a movement in the neighborhood.
Martin Duplantier Architectes
Based in Paris and Bordeaux, Martin Duplantier is a young architect and urban designer, also graduated from HEC Business School. After a start in different international offices (GMP in Berlin and then David Chipperfield in London, who co-designed the HEC campus extension with Martin in 2012) , Martin develops various scales of work, including innovative sustainable approaches at urban scale and a proper design process enriched by his multicultural influences and his personal background.
Today , his work is spread over four different axes:
– Campuses : with a specific approach on informal spaces management the knowledge economy;
– Coastline: re-thinking the Atlantic coast’s urban dimension (from the Luanda Bay in Angola to the French Basque country, currently on site);
– New densities in urbanity: multiple current projects give opportunities to develop not only new housing typologies but also innovative urban fabrics through mix-used programs in suburbia.
– Urban regeneration: 1950-70s urbanity has left entire city chunks that need to be transformed and recycled (Arago project is currently on site).
Martin Duplantier Architectes gathers about 15 to 20 architects. He achieves elegant projects and tackles bigger scale through diverse programs.
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