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Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

Architecture Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

The Cité de l’Océan et du Surf is a museum that explores both surf and sea and their role upon our leisure, science and ecology. The design by Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Solange Fabião is the winning scheme from an international competition in 2005 that included the offices of Enric Miralles/Benedetta Tagliabue, Brochet Lajus Pueyo, Bernard Tschumi and Jean-Michel Willmotte.

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

© Iwan Baan

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

© Steven Holl

The building form derives from the spatial concept “under the sky” / “under the sea.” A concave “under the sky” shape forms the character of the main exterior plaza, the “Place de l’Océan”, which is open to the sky and sea,with the horizon in the distance. A convex structural ceiling forms the “under the sea” exhibition spaces.Two “glass boulders,” which contain the restaurant and the surfer’s kiosk, activate the central outdoor plaza and connect analogically to the two great boulders on the beach in the distance. The building’s southwest corner is dedicated to the surfers’ hangout with a skate pool at the top and an open porch underneath that connects to the auditorium and exhibition spaces inside the museum. This covered area provides a sheltered space for outdoor interaction, meetings and events.

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

© Iwan Baan

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

© Steven Holl

The gardens of the Cité de l’Océan et du Surf aim at a fusion of architecture and landscape, and connect the project to the ocean horizon. The precise integration of concept and topography gives the building its unique profile. The materials of the public plaza are a progressive variation of Portuguese cobblestone paving with grass and natural vegetation. Towards the ocean, the concave form of the building plaza is extended through the landscape. With slightly cupped edges, these gardens, a mix of field and local vegetation, are a continuation of the building and will host festivals and daily events that are integrated with the museum facilities.

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l’Océan et du Surf
Location: Biarritz, France
Architect: Steven Holl Architects
Solange Fabião, Steven Holl (design architect)
Rodolfo Dias (project architect)
Chris McVoy (project advisor)
Filipe Taboada (assistant project architect)
Francesco Bartolozzi, Christopher Brokaw, Cosimo Caggiula,
Florence Guiraud, Richard Liu, Johanna Muszbek, Ernest Ng,
Alessandro Orsini, Nelson Wilmotte, Ebbie Wisecarver, Lan Wu,
Christina Yessios (project team)
Rüssli Architekten
Justin Rüssli, Mimi Kueh, Stephan Bieri, Björn Zepnik (project team DD/CD)
Associate architects: Agence d’Architecture X.Leibar JM Seigneurin
Structural consultant: Betec & Vinci Construction Marseille
Acoustical consultant:AVEL Acoustique
Lighting consultant: L’Observatoire International
Hvac consultant:Elithis
General contractor: Faura Silva, GTM Sud-Ouest Batiment
Exhibition engineer: Cesma
Exhibition contractor: Geroari
Client: SNC Biarritz Ocean
Program: exhibition area, auditorium, restaurant, cafeteria and offices
Project type: competition (first prize)
Major materials: reinforced concrete structure, white concrete facades, steel mullion curtain wall, stone, wood, terrazzo, steel guardrails, acousticalplaster
Building area (square): 50859 sf/4725 sqm
Site area: 376740 f/35000 m
Landscape area (square): 349830 sf/32500 sqm
Net floor area (square): 40903 sf/3800 sm
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