Bastide Niel on Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux
by MVRDV

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Architects MVRDV have shown residents of Bordeaux their plans to extend the city by inviting them to walk between rows of model houses on stilts (+ slideshow).

Bastide Niel on Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux by MVRDV

The models show the masterplan for the 35-hectare Bastide Niel development, which will provide approximately 2400 homes, as well shops, offices and other community facilities on the east banks of the Garonne River.

Bastide Niel on Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux by MVRDV

The blue-painted miniature buildings were erected on the opposite side of the river on top of the Miroir d'Eau, or 'water mirror' fountain, which caused clouds of mist to rise up and surround the exhibition.

Bastide Niel on Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux by MVRDV

Tennis umpires' chairs around the edges provided a viewpoint over the rooftops, which will "reference the medieval town centre," said MVRDV's Jan Knikker.

Bastide Niel on Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux by MVRDV

The architects used a model of Thomas Heatherwick's Rolling Bridge to show how a new, but not-yet-designed bridge will connect the development with the city centre.

Bastide Niel on Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux by MVRDV

A similar masterplan of little blue buildings was presented at the Dutch Pavilion for the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale - take a look here.

Bastide Niel on Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux by MVRDV

See more projects by MVRDV here, including a call centre covered in QR codes.

Bastide Niel on Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux by MVRDV

Here're a few words from MVRDV:


People are invited to walk in the model and see the shapes of the new neighbourhood.

Bastide Niel on Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux by MVRDV

The roofscape with its characteristic spires can be observed from elevated tennis chairs.

Bastide Niel on Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux by MVRDV

MVRDV and the Communaute Urbaine de Bordeaux present the inner city extension Bordeaux Bastide Niel by means of an abstract model to the population.

Bastide Niel on Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux by MVRDV

In the course of the next 10 years the project with its 2400 homes will be realised. AGORA, Biennale Architecture & Urbanisme & Design, September 13-16, Bordeaux.

Bastide Niel on Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux by MVRDV

  • erasmus-van

    Very courageous to show this ‘piece of modern art’ in probably the most beautiful place in Europe. I wonder what we’ve learned in the last ages.

    • never

      What are you talking about. Bordeaux is full of problems. The UNESCO quarter is extremely boring, traditional neighbourhoods are either relentlessly devoid of life or maybe slightly run down and shady such as St. Jean. Anything beyond that is a shithole such as Merignac or Bègles. Don’t get me started on Meriadeck. Bastide itself is rather uninspiring.

      At least the half-industrial half-ex industrial areas heading towards Bacalan are nice – New York etc. And the waterfront? Quai des Marques, yeah, sure. But yeah, at least they aren’t doing this at probably the ugliest place in Europe. I don’t know… Moissac? Agen?