ESTRAN | Bechu + Associés

Biarritz Center of Excellence in Marine Biomimicry Biarritz / France / 2019

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The line of our architectural project affirms the ambition carried by the Urban Community of the Basque Country: to reconcile the dimension of the impact of the ocean on our current civilization and on its future, with the natural intelligence of living beings that he houses. All for the benefit of a new generation of hybrid and regenerative buildings, so that it is now the city that adapts to the great cycles of nature and no longer the other way around.


Our building will be regenerative, biomimetic, “liquid” and ecosystem-based! It is by working with world experts in marine biology and climatology, but also with specialists in parametric design, that we conceived a project at the crossroads of architecture and scientific research ... The foreshore as a concept for compose an “active landscape” which filters the waters of the earth as the ascidians filter the waters of the sea. The foreshore (def.) tidal zone, or intertidal zone, or tidal flat, is the part of the coast located between the extreme limits of the highest and lowest tides. It constitutes a specific biotope, which can shelter many natural sub-habitats.


On our building, the fifth facade becomes a real landscape, at the same time promenade, belvedere, garden and pond. The roof is designed as a living filter, littered with phyto-purification ponds. It collects rainwater and gray water, purifies it and redistributes it. Its aquatic and vegetated surface also helps to blend the building into its natural landscape, by reflecting the sky and the flora. The building thus evolves cyclically, matching the rhythms of the BiodiverCity that surrounds and covers it. It becomes the metronome of the climate and the seasons. Parametric strategies have been developed to optimize thermal and visual comfort. The aquatic roof thus also becomes a catalyst for ecological operations and the building’s energy efficiency.

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    The line of our architectural project affirms the ambition carried by the Urban Community of the Basque Country: to reconcile the dimension of the impact of the ocean on our current civilization and on its future, with the natural intelligence of living beings that he houses. All for the benefit of a new generation of hybrid and regenerative buildings, so that it is now the city that adapts to the great cycles of nature and no longer the other way around. Our building will be regenerative,...

    Project details
    • Year 2019
    • Work finished in 2019
    • Client Communauté d’Agglomération du Pays Basque
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Urban development plans / Landscape/territorial planning / Office Buildings / Corporate Headquarters / Offices/studios / Research Centres/Labs / Nursing homes, rehabilitation centres / Conference Centres / Showrooms/Shops / Interior Design / Urban Renewal
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