The ‘’50 000 dwellings around public transportation axes’’ consultation, commissioned by the Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux (CUB), focuses on ways to coordinate the implantation of new housing for the Bordeaux metropolitan region following the installment of a new tram system and the arrival of a high speed train connecting the city with Paris, two mobility offers making the city and its periphery more attractive. What the project reflects upon is not a city in the ‘classic’ sense, but a contemporary, sustainable city, defined by a shift from monumentality to mobility, thought from the perspective of the city dweller. Contemporary urbanity no longer resembles the urban conditions of the past; now you can ‘make a city’ by seeing housing and transport as the main drivers of a metropolitan living environment.

By coupling the two components of housing and transport, it becomes possible to re-urbanize suburbia by conceiving housing as a dynamic system and inscribing the 50,000 new homes within a metropolitan framework based on movement. The environment of a “well-connected” home is not just a physical space: it is also a space–time containing a multitude of choices and differentiated urban environments, managing to turn Bordeaux into a real metropolis able to answer all the needs of its current and future inhabitants.

The starting point of this reflection was for us less a specific spatial concept than a methodology. After conducting a first reading of the metropolitan region, we were able to isolate a set of specific conditions of the metropolis that guided the subsequent reflection, and were used as a base to formulate four urban hypotheses: 1. dwelling + transportation = city, 2. territorial predominance, 3. scales of diversity, 4. horizontal density and emerging density. Following this step, we outlined operational concepts mapping the potential and providing strategies for the interpretation of different types of parcels encountered. The test projects that followed the study allowed to compose an inventory of specific architectural typologies capable of activating those operational concepts in site-specific ways, establishing a relationship between territory and specific typologies. Our reflection therefore laid out an approach, a set of ambitions and postures capable of guiding the development of the metropolis in a supple and dynamic way: more than a masterplan, we conceived a development frame anchored in the context of the Bordeaux territory.

territorial strategy
Conditions Bordelaises
hypotheses: housing+transport = city / territorial predominance / scales of diversity / horizontal and emerging densities
territorial strategy
operational concepts
strategies: clusters / amenities / poles / micro operations
capacity of different strategies
toolbox housing
testcase Andrian: new urban promenade
exhibition in Arc en Rêve, summer 2012, Bordeaux