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Urban Cap - BAF Bordeaux

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Bassins à Flots, Bordeaux’s main industrial harbour, is still active, but restaurants and homes now sit alongside the hangars, warehouses and silos. ANMA/Agence Nicolas Michelin & Associés created a masterplan for the area and invited other architects to design buildings for it, with the intention of retaining the industrial character of the area while allowing for redevelopment and expansion. Habiter Autrement collaborated with Barcode Architects to design the ‘perpinere d’entreprise’, a centre for the assistance of new businesses. The building, known as ‘Urban Cap’, comprises 7000m2 of mixed-use office and educational facilities. The offices are flexible and differ in size to suit the needs of the multiple tenants. A spectacular top floor open plan expresses the characteristic geometric shape of the building and offers unique views over the harbour area. The 90 m long parallelepiped structure is clad in light aluminium bands lending the building its monolithic quality, which is reinforced by the regular rhythm of the openings. Vertical joints run seamlessly up the facade and over the roof, strengthening the homogeneous expression of the volume. On the ground floor, larger openings mark the entrances, and a strikingly colourful passage in variations of yellow leads into the inner courtyard of the block.

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