Cité de l'Oceán et du Surf

Cité de l'Oceán et du Surf
Address: 1 avenue de la Plage, la Milady, Biarritz, France
Investor:Město Biarritz, Adim Sud Ouest
Area:3800 m2

This new museum intends to raise awareness of oceanic issues and to explore educational and scientific aspects of the surf and sea and their role upon our leisure, science, and ecology.
The project is comprised of a museum building, exhibition areas, and a plaza, within a larger master plan. The design concept is based on the idea ‘under the sky/ under the sea.’
The building shape is intended to create a central gathering plaza, open to sky and sea, with the horizon in the distance.
This ‘Place de l’Océan’, with its curved under-the-sky shape, forms the character of the main exhibition space, while the convex structural ceiling forms the under-the-sea shape.
Thus, the concept generates a unique profile and form for the building, and through its insertion and efficient site utilization, the project integrates seamlessly into the surrounding landscape.

The Cité de l'Océan et du Surf, located in Biarritz, France will open to the public on June 25, 2011. The museum, a design by Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Solange Fabião, aims to raise awareness of oceanic issues and scientific aspects of surf and sea. 
Derived from the spatial concept "under the sky"/"under the sea," the museum's concave exterior forms the character of the central public gathering space. On the interior, the inverse convex curve becomes the ceiling of the main exhibition space. Located underground, this enclosed volume projects the feeling of being immersed underwater. The building's strong spatial qualities are experienced from the museum's entrance, where the lobby and ramps to the gallery give a broad aerial view of the exhibition areas, as they pass along the dynamic curved surface that will be animated by moving image and light. 
At the building's southwest corner, a skate pool is dedicated to the surfers' hangout on the plaza level and an open porch underneath connects to the auditorium and exhibition spaces inside the museum. This covered area provides a sheltered space for outdoor interaction, meetings and events.
The close integration of concept and topography gives the building a unique profile. A fusion of landscape and architecture, the concave form of the building plaza is extended through the landscape and connects to the ocean. With slightly cupped edges, the landscape, a mix of field and local vegetation, is a continuation of the building and creates a public space that becomes a fifth elevation. Two "glass boulders", which contain the restaurant and the surfer's kiosk, activate the building's central outdoor plaza and connect to the two boulders on the beach in the distance.
Steven Holl Architects
1 comment
add comment
Jonáš Kolařík
21.07.11 12:59
show all comments

more buildings from Steven Holl, Solange Fabião