In the Mérignac Soleil area lying on the outskirts of Bordeaux, many of the challenges implicit in the city's peri-urban renewal converge. Located between the historic city center and the airport, the area consists mostly of private residential housing that has increasingly spread out.
Over time, various structures have ended up juxtaposed over one another: with houses built in the middle of plots bordered by hedges or low separating walls, at the end of dead end roads or alongside the proliferating number of alleyways, all of which has come to be interspersed by large commercial retailers and major roadway infrastructure. These urban developments lacking logical coherence have created spatial entities terribly isolated and bereft of any accessible public space.
The project aims at rendering more comfortably livable an environment that until now has been little more than hostile. In order to accomplish this, two parallel strategies have been implemented. One, a ground fertilization process aiming at the transformation of the large stretches of parking lot into a more “natural” environment. And two, the introduction of a diverse number of programs and services, in supplement to what is currently offered, aiming to reinvigorate and encourage the daily use of what goes on at street level.
Urban renewal is based here upon the creation and emergence of “urban oases”. This allegorical figure conveys the idea of a concentration of programs, services, natural environments, all within very targeted areas. Their high level of quality should help bring about change in the surrounding areas, gradually generating a diverse number of practices and uses. This process applies to all aspects of the project: touching upon the collective central spaces that make up the urban fabric, the urban interstices and gaps the scale of urban blocks, the spaces exterior to residences, but eventually the neighboring landscape as well, still inaccessible today.
City of Mérignac
MDP Michel Desvigne Paysagiste
OMA (Lead consultant)
69 ha (170 acres)