Cité de l’Océan et du Surf by Steven Holl
and Solange Fabião

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Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

Steven Holl Architects have collaborated with Brazilian architect Solange Fabião on this wave-shaped museum of the sea in Biarritz, France, which opened this week.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

The Cité de l’Océan et du Surf has a cobbled plaza over the concave roof, which gently descends to meet the sloping ground.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

The galleries of the museum are contained within this curving concrete block, while two acid-etched glass boxes at one end accomodate restaurants and a surfer's kiosk.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

The museum houses exhibitions about scientific issues associated with the sea and tides.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

Above photograph is by Steven Holl Architects

Photography is by Iwan Baan apart from where otherwise stated.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

Here are some more details from the architects:


Cité de l’Océan et du Surf opens in Biarritz, France

The Cité de l'Océan et du Surf, located in Biarritz, France will open to the public on June 26, 2011.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

Above photograph is by Steven Holl Architects

The museum, a design by Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Brazilian artist and architect Solange Fabião, aims to raise awareness of oceanic issues and scientific aspects of surf and sea.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

Above photograph is by Steven Holl Architects

Derived from the spatial concept "under the sky" / "under the sea", the museum's concave exterior creates a central gathering plaza, open to the sky and sea, with the horizon in the distance.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

Above photograph is by Steven Holl Architects

On the interior, the inverse convex curve becomes the ceiling of the main exhibition space, evoking the sense of being "under the sea."

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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The building's spatial qualities are first experiences in the entrance space, where ramps pass along the dynamic curved surface on which filmed exhibitions are projected, animating the space with changing images and light.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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Two "glass rocks," 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.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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The plaza's southwest corner is dedicated to the surfers' hangout with a skate pool 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.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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The gardens of the Cité de l'Océan et du Surf aim at a fusion of landscape and architecture, and connect the museum to the ocean horizon.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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The precise integration of concept and topography gives the building its unique profile.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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The public plaza is paved with a progressive variation of Portuguese cobblestone paving that allow for the growth of grass and natural vegetation.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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The building lifts up toward the ocean towards the west and the concave form of the plaza is extended through the landscape.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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With slightly cupped edges, the landscape, a mix of field and local vegetation, is a continuation of the museum facility and provides a site for festivals and daily events.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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The exterior of the building is a textured white concrete made of aggregates from the south of France.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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Materials of the plaza are a progressive variation of Portuguese cobblestones paving with grass and natural vegetation.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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A combination of insulated glass units with clear and acid-etched layers animates the visual dynamics enhancing interior comfort.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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The interior of the main space is white plaster and a wooden floor provides under-floor wiring flexibilities.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf by Steven Holl

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Credits:
Client: SNC Biarritz Ocean

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
HVAC consultant: Elithis
General contractor: Faura Silva, GTM Sud-Ouest Batiment
Exhibition engineer: Cesma
Exhibition contractor: Geroari

  • felix

    there's a tiny 'skate pool'… but then he builds a huge half pipe laid with cobbles?

  • felix
  • Martin

    Stunning! very different in style and composition

  • http://www.deloprojet.com delo

    Very nice for a surfing spot

  • yuc

    One thing is sure: that Holl re-invented the all-glass building as well as the idea of blending it with rather dramatic solid forms (The Neldon-Atkins Museum is a masterpiece).

    I wish the solar conditions were equally unthreatining everywhere to do that.

  • anna

    i agree…. this is some morbid joke…. he basically builds a skatepark in biarritz and puts cobbled stones everywhere… to see the poor kids suffer?

  • James

    It would be incredibly poetic if not for the window detailing, which I find incredibly sterile and clunky.

  • matt

    hmmm…apparently he is a bmx guy

  • http://www.GregAllegretti.com Santa Fe Architect

    The cobbled deck is a metaphor for the sea. The interior spaces are literal construction of the sea and sky. What's remarkable is the quality of light and space which is wonderful. As suitable for works of art as it is for interpretive and educational exhibits.

    • St.Augustine

      Interior spaces are literal constructions of the sea and sky? No wonder half of all architects are unemployed.

  • - C

    As a surfer/skateboarder and architect this project is one beautiful offensive joke. It has nothing to do with nothing. All metaphors in this project are completely out of context.

  • Steef

    a piece of true architectural poetry –

    glas to see it from Holl, who was kinda losing himself in the architectural violence of China.