50,000 Homes

  • Year 2012
  • Program Study on urban definition
  • Client Urban Community of Bordeaux
  • Architects Christophe Hutin, Lacaton & Vassal, Frederic Druot
  • Status Completed
  • Coût €546,500 (excl. tax)
  • Location Bordeaux Metropole, France

This architecture, urban planning, and landscape mission concerns strategic research and the feasibility of 50,000 new housing units in the Bordeaux Urban Community. The mission addresses the curbing of urban sprawl, reduction of travel expenses, greenhouse gas production, investment, and urban utility costs. It answers the question of housing’s accessibility to all, its diversity, and its generosity. The proposal draws up an inventory of existing situations with a commitment to transforming the most fragile housing and producing new housing and services in serviced areas. Without demolition, cutting down trees, or disruption of existing situations, and without a master plan, but on a case-by-case basis, little by little, with precision, delicacy, and care. Transforming the city means first transforming the way we see it: as an association of abilities and energies to be extended, and not as an inert mass to be shaped. It means thinking of it as an agglomeration of activities and inhabited spaces and not as a catalog of new or outdated images. This change of perspective leads to a different consideration of what exists to see it as a living value capable of a happy, enchanted rebirth. Thus, the Cité Bel Air could become the Résidence Camponac in Pessac, Génicart could become the Bois le Prêtre tower, and the Collège Langevin could evolve in the vein of the ecological housing of Frei Otto in Berlin. Approaching the area through the power to transcend its existing structures is particularly exciting. What exists becomes a new medium for imagining the city.