The Line

location Bordeaux, France
date 2017
client EDF
program low carbon emission city
surface 340 ha
status competition, award innovation prize
design team Studio Akkerhuis
consultants AIA Studio Environnement, Après la pluie, Atelier Gantner

The French energy supplier EDF selected 4 practices for this competition to develop the area of the Caisse des Dépôts bank, north of the Bordeaux city center, into a carbon neutral environment and to represent the future of urban living in 2050. Studio Akkerhuis was awarded with the Innovation prize from the jury led by Bordeaux mayor and former French Prime minister Alain Juppé.

The project is based on the fact that to have a carbon neutral environment the density should not be higher than 5-7 inhabitants per hectare. But to avoid urban sprawl it is necessary to achieve higher densities than this. This contradiction was the starting point of our concept.

The result of this reflexion was a change to a bigger scale and the concentration of the new community on a line between the lake west of the actual site and the Garonne river in the east. Along the 6 m wide and 2300 m long peer are clusters of buildings with varyring functions as well as the existing building of the Caisse des Dépôts.

Because of a possible rise of the water level the line stays roughly 5 m above the existing terrain. All circulation, transportation, reticulation supply and energy exchange is bundled on the peer. All along the line direct links to the landscape are generated, as panoramic viewpoints, stairs or slopes giving access to the ground.

The high density of the line means a majority of the adjacent landscape is either cultivated or for recreational use. This guarantees agricultural supply as well as balancing the carbon footprint.

The contrast between the density of the backbone and the immaculate nature surrounding the line represents a new model for the city.