EXPERIMENTAL HOUSING
in Bordeaux (1925-2020)

A territory of remarkable housing experiments

This series includes historical projects with a patronizing flair, post-war self-build, large ensembles and their renovation, as well as participatory housing. This offers a wide range of solutions that still goes on today in the form of experimental housing where the inhabitant’s know-how is central.

Often born of private initiatives at the beginning of the 20th century (Cité Frugès, “Castor” movement), these experiments have often become, over time, the act of public actors (epitomized with Lacaton & Vassal’s GHI residence refurbishment, Mies van der Rohe Awards in 2019). In Bordeaux, this has been particularly striking for the past ten years, thanks to tight collaboration between politicians and cultural bodies (a’urba and arc en rêve, among others). This mediation generated a culture common to all construction stakeholders, and allowed the emergence of innovative public procurement that can go as far as experimental urban plans on the scale of the metropolis (“50,000 dwellings along public transport” or “55,000 ha for Nature” programmes, for example).

The visit will offer you an overview of these historical and contemporary developments, thanks to a selection of the most emblematic projects.