BIG x Freaks : MÉCA

The trio of Parisian architects Freaks and the teams of the Danish studio Bjarke Ingels Group take the city of Bordeaux (33) in a creative spiral with the MECA, a neo-Aquitaine cultural center of 18 000 square meters on the left bank of the beautiful asleep.

Bordeaux is drunk on culture with the MECA, its brand new temple of art. Invested by the Regional Fund of Contemporary Art and two agencies dedicated to theater and cinema, this House of Creative Economy and Culture in the New Aquitaine region owes its imposing building to the Danish agency BIG, realized in collaboration with French studio Freaks.

Bordered by the waters of the Garonne, its architecture with protruding lines has been designed as a loop with asymmetrical legs unfolding on either side of a vast esplanade, thus allowing residents to reach the city or the banks of the river.

Its concrete structure, created from the sands of the region, then covered with 4 800 white panels in tribute to the Bordeaux stone, is pierced by rectangular windows illuminating a new kind of arch at nightfall. At its center, a suspension in lettrines composed of LED bulbs is reflected in the bronze sculpture with the contours of the mythological character of Hermes, signed by the French artist Benoît Maire.


Behind the walls of this new Girondine institution, the FRAC neo-Aquitaine - holding a Jeff Koons acquired in 1980 before the coast of the enfant terrible of contemporary art explodes - takes its quarters on three levels where unfolds offices and archive spaces as well as a 1 200 showroom with square meters ending at MECA - a collaborative space with a view of the waves.

The seventh art and the live show are also honored in this incubator of culture hosting a projection room that can accommodate up to 80 people, conference rooms and a fully modular theater with a gauge of 250 seats. Its 360 square-meter stage - the largest in the region - has retractable bleachers to double its surface. The artists also benefit from a dance studio for rehearsals.

On the ground floor, Le Crem, a bar-restaurant whose furniture in different shades of red was created by the studio BIG in a nod to the winegrowing culture of the region, will sustain the stomachs of visitors.

An artists' residence managed by the OARA (the artistic office of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region) and ALCA (Agency book, cinema and audiovisual in New Aquitaine) has also been set up to support the creative and artistic scene. to make the place live through various ephemeral events.

Great art!

Project title : Mecha
City, Country: Bordeaux (33)
Owner: New Aquitaine Region + BMA
Mastery of work : BIG and FREAKS
Area : 12 000 m²
Cost of works: 32 000 000 € HT
Calendar : 2019 delivery

For more information, visit the studios website Big ; Freaks

Photographs: Laurian Ghnitoiu, Sergio Grazia

Zoe Térouinard

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