OMA wins Bordeaux bridge competition

News: Rem Koolhaas' OMA has won the competition to design a new bridge across the river Garonne in Bordeaux with plans for a 44-metre-wide structure that will accommodate traffic and pedestrians, but could also be used for hosting events.

OMA wins Bordeaux bridge competition

Set to be completed in 2018, the Pont Jean-Jacques Bosc will link the municipalities of Bègles and Floirac. A pedestrian promenade will take up the largest section of the bridge, but there will also be dedicated lanes for cars, public transport and bicycles that can be closed during events.

OMA worked with engineers WSP and landscape architect Michel Desvigne to develop the concept for the bridge, and the designers hope it will become a popular public space for the city.

OMA wins Bordeaux bridge competition

"The bridge itself is not the 'event' in the city, but a platform that can accommodate events of the city," said OMA project leader Clément Blanchet. "We wanted to provide the simplest expression – the least technical, least lyrical, but the most concise and effective structural solution."

The project will be completed as part of the Euratlantique, a city-wide development covering an area of 738 hectares.

"It is an extraordinary architectural gesture, said Vincent Feltesse, president of the Urban Community of Bordeaux. "More than a bridge, it is an urban planning intervention in the heart of the Euratlantique project."

OMA wins Bordeaux bridge competition

Here's the full announcement from OMA:


OMA has won the international competition to design the Pont Jean-Jacques Bosc, the sixth bridge across the river Garonne in Bordeaux and the first bridge design to be realised by OMA. The selection committee included the mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppé; completion is scheduled for 2018.

OMA wins Bordeaux bridge competition
Comparison diagram

Positioned at the heart of the Euratlantique project, Pont Jean-Jacques Bosc provides a link between the municipalities of Bègles and Floriac. But more than simply connecting two points of land separated by water, the bridge itself also offers a generous new public space in the city.

Vincent Feltesse, president of the Urban Community of Bordeaux: "It is an extraordinary architectural gesture. More than a bridge, it is an urban planning intervention in the heart of the Euratlantique project."

Its considerable 44m by 545m expanse, a continuous surface stretching well beyond the banks of the river, seamlessly connects to the land. The gently sloping surface enables a pedestrian promenade while still allowing the necessary clearance for boats beneath. All traffic modes – including private cars, public transport, bicycles and foot traffic – are accommodated by its width, with the largest allowance devoted to pedestrians.

OMA wins Bordeaux bridge competition
Capacity diagram - click for larger image

Clément Blanchet, director of OMA France: "The bridge itself is not the 'event' in the city, but a platform that can accommodate events of the city. We wanted to provide the simplest expression – the least technical, least lyrical, but the most concise and effective structural solution."

The project was developed in collaboration with engineers WSP, the landscape architect Michel Desvigne, the consultant EGIS, and the light design agency Lumières Studio.