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TOUR OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE IN BORDEAUX  

Bordeaux is a city undergoing significant changes, proud of its prestigious past, but resolutely turned towards the future. The city offers inhabitants and visitors alike a very attractive urban setting with two main strong points: its river and world-class architecture.

 

Bordeaux is very much future-oriented, with renovated 20th century buildings, many of them located on either bank of the Garonne. Others have recently been completed or are due to be built in the near future.

Véronique Baggio-Courtois, an official guide, takes us on a tour that reveals another aspect of Bordeaux.
We take an open-air coach from the tram hub to the Public Garden to admire the cubist bust of François Mauriac, and then drive in front of the Entrepôt Lainé, with its 2 institutions: the Arc en rêve architectural centre and the CAPC modern art museum (with Café Putman).

Arriving at the Quai des Chartrons, we leave the coach and walk a few metres, passing 18th century buildings where barrels have left traces on the walls, to visit the Galerie des Chartrons, with its very 21st century atrium. This is an ideal introduction to the Chartrons district, the centre of a flourishing wine trade since the 17th century. The unique layout of building in the Chartons in long narrow strips, including renovated wine cellars and new activities, shows how the district's past has been both preserved and enhanced. There is definitely new life here, with new people and a decidedly dynamic atmosphere.

We next head north to the Bacalan district around the Bassins à Flot (wet docks), stopping at the renovated Hangar G2, with its culture venue housing various temporary projects, as well as trendy restaurants.
The Bordeaux Lac district offers a view of cranes on the Ginko building site and work in progress on the tram extension to the future sports stadium.
North of Bassin à Flot no. 1, other cranes along the banks of the Garonne mark the sites of more flats, offices, and the new Cité des Civilisations du Vin. We next cross the new Chaban Delmas lift-bridge linking the left and right banks of the Garonne, that forms a gateway to the city for vessels of all sorts, from cruise liners to tall ships.
Starting from the beautiful curve of the main span, the tour next takes us past the Hotel Seeko’o and renovated hangars from H14 to Cap Sciences along the redeveloped quays, where Bordeaux residents and visitors enjoy a stroll.

On the Right Bank, we head north along the Parc aux Angéliques, passing in front of the tram workshop and the Bastide-Niel district to skirt around the heart of La Bastide and its attractive, award winning architecture via the Botanical Garden.

A little further on, we can see the former Halle aux Farines (Flour Market), which will house the municipal archives.
A huge blue lion sculpture facing the Left Bank takes us to the Pont de Pierre where we can admire the buildings along the quayside, as well as the reflecting pool.
We continue westward in front of the law courts, the future municipal government building, and the Caisse d'Epargne bank in the Mériadeck district before returning to our starting point.

This tour of modern architecture provides a non-exhaustive overview of sights in the historic heart of Bordeaux.
Furthermore, visiting new cellars in the Bordeaux wine country is an excellent way of extending this discovery of contemporary architecture beyond the Bordeaux Urban Community.