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).
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.
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.
Tennis umpires' chairs around the edges provided a viewpoint over the rooftops, which will "reference the medieval town centre," said MVRDV's Jan Knikker.
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.
A similar masterplan of little blue buildings was presented at the Dutch Pavilion for the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale - take a look here.
Here're a few words from MVRDV:
People are invited to walk in the model and see the shapes of the new neighbourhood.
The roofscape with its characteristic spires can be observed from elevated tennis chairs.
MVRDV and the Communaute Urbaine de Bordeaux present the inner city extension Bordeaux Bastide Niel by means of an abstract model to the population.
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.