How can we fit in with the spirit of the area ? The former wet docks are so intimately associated with the city’s industrial heritage. This place belongs to the river. The water is its life force, the power of nature reclaiming these man-made banks.
As the broad river winds gently towards its destiny, one of its curves forms a special stronghold: the entrance to the port, the gateway to the city. Such a place needs to be watched over by a benevolent landmark, a guardian angel for the port and the city.
A keystone, a vertical icon on this horizontal skyline, a beacon that can be seen far and wide ; commanding the banks of the river. A shape as smooth and rounded as an ancient pebble, weightless lines rolling majestically down towards the water.
The essence of fluidity. This form is clothed in swathes of light, shimmering and fluctuating from purple to gold as the viewer moves. Ethereal, enigmatic, atmospheric, rising magnificently from the mists of the river. Inspired by the spirit of the place, dedicated to the spirit of wine.‘Timeless’
The visitors arrive at the Forum by climbing the sweeping staircase, curving gently upwards to the exhibition. At the head of the stairs, visitors will be faced immediately with the exhibition, and will soon realise that the layout is designed to evoke the idea of a ‘whirlwind’ -like the circular movement which awakens a wine before tasting-.
Everything the visitors see will reflect this motion – the forms, the light, the images and texts. The exhibition is thus laid out along a circular route: visitors start at the Forum and eventually arrive back there, after a journey through a flowing space with no corners.
The glass walls offer a spectacular view of the river Garonne, flowing serenely around the building. Inside we have recreated this sense of flow, running serenely between obstacles which seem to have been smoothed and rounded by the passing water. Visitors are always conscious of the presence of Bordeaux.
Through the windows, the panoramic view reminds visitors where they are: in a city where wine reigns supreme, and which provides the point of departure for a voyage into the world of wine.
Branches of the vine, the flow of wine, fields of vines.
Waves on the facade, oscillating lines engraved on the glass, glass cladding, and wooden structure. Source by XTU.
Location: Bordeaux, France
Architect: XTU architects
Project leader: Dominique Zentelin Mathias Lukacs
Project Team: Joan Tarragon, Delphine Isart, Claire Leroux, Thibault Fabre
Research Team: Joan Tarragon, Gaëlle Le Borgne, Stefania Maccagan, Cristina Sanchez, Sylvain Raillard, Maÿlis Fabre, Heiner Babon, Kathryn Frost
Partnership: Casson Mann Scenographer
Research Office: SNC-Lavalin, RFR, Le Sommer Environnement
Lighting Designer: 8’18’’
Acoustic Specialist: Peutz
Signage: Autobus Imperial
Programmer: B. Mautin
Olfactory Designer: R. Cahen
Sound Designer: Casso & Cie
General contractor: GTM Bâtiment Aquitaine, Coveris
3D rendering: XTU architects
Client: City of Bordeaux
Building surface area: 12 927 m2 -2 800 m2 permanent exhibit
Site’s area: 13 644 m2
Costs: € 28,5 m + € 8,3 m (building + scenography)
Delivery: march 2016
Photographs: Joan Tarragon, Patrick Tourneboeuf, Courtesy of XTU architects