Bordeaux > Tour du Gaz - Mama Shelter

Bordeaux > Tour du Gaz - Mama Shelter

When, in the 1930s, the people of Bordeaux first set eyes on the new Gas and Electricity Company building, situated just a stone’s throw away from Saint André Cathedral, their reactions were mixed, to put it mildly. The pioneering use of reinforced concrete, glass and metal in the architecture of this building with its 47 metre tower, set in the historical heart of the city, had something of the monumental about it, defying its sacred Medieval neighbour and arousing greater reproof than admiration. A competition was launched in 2009 for redevelopment of the edifice, along with a 1970s building adjacent to it. The main structure provided the perfect framework for the creation of a hotel, while the configuration of the 1970s building perfectly suited conversion into housing. The team behind the Mama Shelter concept – Serge Trigano, Philippe Starck and Cyril Aaouizérate – worked in partnership with King Kong, creating a sensitive new form of human habitat in which the ground floor, with its ample restaurant space, unfolds generously onto outside spaces and the neighbouring urban square. These areas are not only open to patrons of the hotel, but also to the general public, just like the terrace amenities, rooftop function room and ‘workshop’ on the first floor inserted into the central patio. The staircase winding up the tower, hitherto hidden from our gaze, is now visible for all to enjoy. The overall design has provided innovative means of re-appropriating the city centre and breathing new life and identity into a rather lacklustre square, whose true potential as part of Bordeaux’s urban heritage has now been revealed.
program
transformation of the Gas & Electricity Company building into a hotel « Mama Shelter » + 17 apartments - in collaboration with Philippe Starck
project management
atelier d'architecture King Kong, Math Ingénierie, Nobatek, Hervé Gastel
client: Adim Sud-Ouest
location: Bordeaux (33)
surface area: 4 795 m²
date: completed in october 2013
images/photos: Francis Amiand pour Mama Shelter, Jérémie Buchholtz, Michel Denancé, Arthur Péquin
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