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BUILDING
 
 
Cité de l'Océan et du Surf
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DESIGNER
 
 
Steven Holl

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DESCRIPTION
 
The Steven Holl Biarritz Cité de l’Océan et du Surf is a museum that explores both surf and sea and their role upon our leisure, science and ecology. The design by Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Solange Fabiao is the winning scheme from an international competition that included the offices of Enric Miralles/Benedetta Tagliabue, Brochet Lajus Pueyo, Bernard Tschumi and Jean-Michel Wilmotte.

The building form derives from the spatial concept “under the sky”/“under the sea”. A concave “under the sky” shape forms the character of the main exterior space, the “Place de l’Océan.” The convex structural ceiling forms the “under the sea” exhibition spaces. The building’s spatial qualities are experienced already at the entrance where the lobby and ramps give a broad aerial view of the exhibition areas, as they pass along the dynamic curved surface that is animated by moving image and light.

Steven Holl Biarritz Cité de l’Océan et du SurfThe precise integration of concept and topography gives the building a unique profile. Towards the ocean, the concave form of the building plaza is extended through the landscape. With slightly cupped edges, the landscape, a mix of field and local vegetation, is a continuation of the building and will host festivals and daily events that are integrated with the museum facilities.

Two “glass boulders”, which contain the restaurant and the surfer’s kiosk, activate the central outdoor plaza and connect analogically to the two great boulders on the beach in the distance. The glass boulders can be reached through the main entry lobby, which connects the street level to the cafeteria and surfer’s kiosk, and but are also accessible independently through the plaza, which serves as a main gathering space open to the public.

Steven Holl Biarritz Cité de l’Océan et du SurfThe museum store is located at the intermediate level of the exhibition spaces, with direct access to the entry lobby and the auditorium. The more intimate restaurant and the elevated outdoor terrace are at the top level of the museum, providing open ocean views.

At the building’s southwest corner, there is a skate pool dedicated to the surfers’ hangout on the plaza level and an open porch underneath, which connects to the auditorium and exhibition spaces inside the museum. This covered area provides a sheltered space for outdoor interaction, meetings and events.

The exterior of the building is a textured white concrete made of aggregates from the south of France. Materials of the plaza are a progressive variation of Portuguese cobblestones paving with grass and natural vegetation. A combination of insulated glass units with clear and acid-etched layers animates the visual dynamics enhancing interior comfort. The interior of the main space is white plaster and a wooden floor provides under-floor wiring flexibilities.
Steven Holl Biarritz Cité de l'Océan et du Surf
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MATERIALS
 
reinforced concrete

concrete structure, white concrete facades, steel mullion curtain wall, stone, wood, terrazzo, steel guardrails, acoustical plaster

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LOCATION
 
Continent
Europe
Nation
France [France]
Region
Aquitaine
District
Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Town
Biarritz
Address
Avenue de la Plage (Ilbarritz/plage de Marbella)
 
 
Website
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MAP
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
Main
ARCHITECTURE
Museums and buildings for exhibitions
Maritime museums
Buildings for recreational activities
Auditoriums and music centres

TOWN PLANNING AND URBAN DESIGN
Urban design and urban renovation
Squares and open areas
Additional
ARCHITECTURE
Buildings for offices and professional practises
Offices
Commercial buildings
Bars, cafeterias
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
2005 - 2008     project winner of competition
Realisation
2009 - 2011
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AWARDS
 
2011
Emirates Glass LEAF Awards
Public Building of the Year

About the museum, the jury stated, “It is designed as a set of simple, low, geometric enclosures, for a permanent collection and exhibition areas with a rolling plaza. These evoke the mystery of the sea and by night glow like fragments. The project achieves a good, seamless connection with its coastal landscape. This is a poetic gestural design sitting between land and sea, and bringing together the best of both.”
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BIBILIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
 
 
"Cité de l'Océan et du Surf, Biarritz, France", L'Arca 278, marzo/march 2012 [Acqua / Water], pp. 56-61
Claudia Fuchs, "Gebaute Wellenlandschaft / Cité de l’Océan et du Surf in Biarritz", Detail 12/2011, dezember/december 2011 [Architektur und Landschaft / Architecture and Landscape], "Berichte / reports" p. 1380
Catherine Slessor, "Ocean Boulevard", Architectural Review 1376, october 2011, pp. 54-61
"Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf, Biarritz, France", GA Document 118, september 2011, pp. 8-25
Maryse Quinton, "Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf, Biarritz / City of the Ocean and Surf, Biarritz", D'A. D'Architectures 202, septembre/september 2011, pp. 56-61
Kieran Long, "Cité de l'Océan et du Surf", Architect 9/2011, september 2011, "Design" pp. 210-220
Chiara Molinar, "A Biarritz Steven Holl cavalca l’onda", Il Giornale dell'Architettura 97, settembre 2011
"Holl's Surf Museum opens in France", Architectural Record 8/2011, august 2011, p. 24
"Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf, Biarritz / City of the Ocean and Surf, Biarritz", L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui 384, juillet-août/july-august 2011, pp. 20-21
Jean-Pierre Menard, "Chantier: une voute inversee/On site: an inverse vault", AMC. Le Moniteur Architecture 195, mars/march 2010, pp. 49-50
"Cité de l’Océan et du Surf. Biarritz, France, 2005-2009", GA Document 110, december 2009 [Steven Holl], pp. 102-107
"Cité du Surf et de l’Océan. Biarritz, France, 2005", GA Document 97, june 2007 [International 2007], pp. 58-65
Sophie Roulet, "Steven Holl surfe a Biarritz/Steven Holl surfs in Biarritz", Architecture Intérieure. Créé 325, avril-mai/april-may 2006, p. 10
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CLIENT
 
 
SNC Biarritz Ocean
Ville de Biarritz
Adim Sud Ouest
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AMOUNT
 
 
€ 11.000.000
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Surface
building sq.m. 4,725 (sq.ft. 50,859)
site sq.m. 35,000 (sq.ft. 376,740)
landscape mq. 32,500 (sq.ft. 349,830)
net floor mq. 3,800 (sq.ft. 40,903)
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STRUCTURES
 
 
Betec & Vinci Construction Marseille
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STAFF
 
Project
Steven Holl Architects
Associate designers
Agence d'Architecture X.Leibar JM Seigneurin
Design architects
Solange Fabião, Steven Holl
Project architect
Rodolfo Dias
Assistants
Filipe Taboada
Consultant
Chris McVoy
Design team
Francesco Bartolozzi, Christopher Brokaw, Cosimo Caggiula, Florence Guiraud, Richard Liu, Ernest Ng, Alessandro Orsini, Nelson Wilmotte, Ebbie Wisecarver, Lan Wu, Christina Yessios

Rüssli Architekten
Justin Rüssli, Mimi Kueh, Stephan Bieri, Björn Zepnik
Acoustical consultant
AVEL Acoustique
Systems
Elithis
General contractor
Faura Silva, GTM Sud-Ouest Batiment
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CREDITS
 
 
Photos © Iwan Baan, Garcia Laurent
Drawings © Steven Holl Architects
Watercolors by Steven Holl
Text edited by Steven Holl Architects
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects, Cité de l'Océan et du Surf

Steven Holl Biarritz Cité de l'Océan et du Surf



If you haven't already clicked on the photo strip at the top of the page, for the gallery of photos [30 images] and drawings [33 images], enter here
 
 
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