Conversion of 93 houses in Beutre

  • Year 2023
  • Program Transformation project
  • Client Aquitanis
  • Landscape designer Cyrille Marlin
  • Status Studies in progress
  • Surface 6 260 m² (existant) + 2 140 m² (extensions)
  • Location Mérignac-Beutre, France

Two emergency housing estates were built in Beutre in 1968 and 1970, to house “migrant workers” and inhabitants who were excluded from the center of Bordeaux by urban renewal. To live there, and to survive, the tenants maintained, embellished, and expanded their housing by carrying out various improvements and extensions, and by cultivating their gardens.
The project for the transformation of the housing estate combines renovation with the participation of its inhabitants, as well as implementing the natural capacities of the site, its vegetable gardens, and the objectives of creating more apartments. It begins with the recognition of the human and technical value of self-building, through a precise inventory of the work accomplished by each family. This flexible architectural proposal aims to increase space, fluidity, and light. It considers the wishes of each family and adapts to each case. On a larger scale, the project proposes to establish micro-farms combining small-scale production and local economic objectives. The inhabitants’ competence in vegetable gardening is an essential resource to ensure the dietary transition necessary for social cohesion and solidarity between communities and generations. At the crossroads of architecture, market gardening, and cooking, the Beutre social and urban project condenses in situ contemporary urban planning practices at the cutting edge of social innovation.