Toolkit City

B├Ęgles (FR) - Special Mention


Team Representative: François Lepeytre (FR) – architect
Associates: Hector Hernandez Carrillo (MX), Cinthia Aguirre Veiga (PE), Ernesto Apolaya Canales (PE) – architects; Gaël Brulé (FR) – sociologist; Grégoire Alix-Tabeling (FR) – designer

Atelier CMJN
17 rue Froment, 75011 Paris
241 rue du jardin public 33300 Bordeaux
+33 182 835 072 –

Calle General Iglesias 752-L18, Lima (PE)
19 rue des Chaufourniers, 75019 Paris (FR)

Vraiment Vraiment
88 rue du Faubourg du temple, 75011 Paris (FR)
+33 983 719 735 –

See the complete listing of portraits here 
See the site page here 

F. Lepeytre, H. Hernandez Carrillo, G. Brulé, E. Apolaya Canales, C. Aguirre Veiga & G. Alix-Tabeling


Click on the images to enlarge

1. How did you form the team for the competition?

For this Europan site project, which is both complex and rich, we joined a team based on complementarity skills and common experience of this type of project. The Atelier CMJN, recently set in Bordeaux, is a multidisciplinary architecture workshop at the crossroads of architecture, sociology, landscape and environmental engineering. The design thinking agency, VraimentVraiment, adds its fresh look at urban planning issues and its expertise in innovative and participatory planning approaches. APU, an urban and architecture agency, completes the team and brings a territorial vision to the project and its expertise of public spaces.

2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: the place of productive activities within the city?

A problem naturally emerges from the particular site: how to develop a city, that is to say: housing, shops, daily uses of urban space, within an inhospitable productive site that has to remain? This project is, for us, the opportunity to imagine new synergies between the different actors in the production chain. The ones we named in our project the "thinkers makers and users", are the innovation, the production and the inhabitants-actors that we want to connect to an axis along the old railway, from the digital city and its start-ups to factories and production buildings through existing and suggested living places. This axis of development perpendicular to the Garonne River would be the backbone of the project development, linking the heart of Bègles to its river bank and would enter into a metropolitan network of perpendicular axe to the river. The idea is to imagine how to foster future interactions needed for 21st century production.


3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?

The preamble to the mutation of the site is the liberation of the land and the appeasement of the place. A factory, a production building, to schematize, is a box surrounded by parking and bordered by fences. The layout is here optimized for the semi-trailer not for a local resident. We propose a large operation of combinations on the whole site in particular the logistics and we propose that this service is ensured by the post company on the site of coliposte which is ideally located and adapted to this service. Deliveries would arrive on the site of the post office at the entrance of the site and the last kilometer would be ensured by the flotilla of green vehicle for the last kilometer. This service allows two things: 1- Freeing a large part of the space devoted to the parking of semi-trailers that each company has on the site. 2- Pacifying above all the atmosphere of the place, make it habitable. The companies, freed from the constraints of the semi-trailer, have richer land and begin to understand the mutation in the interests of each everyone. In fine, there is no longer smell, noise nor truck on the site that can now welcome inhabitants. The combination operations might concern other activities: security in order to modify the existing fences but also the parking, the maintenance and the waste management and ultimately the removal of other willing companies.



4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?

We have dealt with similar issues in past and current projects: in the Morvan, the atelier CMJN and Vraiment Vraiment have co-constructed with local actors, the revitalization of 4 village- centers. It is a participatory project process that goes well beyond the simple management plan, especially through the design of services. In Lorient, the Jules Ferry Park or in the ZAC peristyle, as architects of ZAC we have design the mutation of a military site to a major public space facing the river highlighting an industrial heritage.

Co-production: an evolving project process

5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?

The site of Bègles particularly complex with a small control of the land’s property and an important number of actors, imposes, a “process project” like the one we propose. It is a question of finding a balance between an urban vision and a negotiation process in order to master a project that becomes a moving project. In Bègles, the solutions will be more effective if they emerge from the actors themselves, so that they take ownership of the project. Their desires and needs cannot be decreed. This ownership requires the early involvement of different stakeholders in an open project process. At the same time, overall coherence, programming and the public interest must be defended by a project and strong leadership. It also seems necessary to us to use tools that adapt to unforeseen situations and turnarounds. We propose "productive clusters" around the railways that organize the site. They define micro-centralities, places of conviviality and greenery around which mixed housing operations of adaptable density can be conceived. The key is to be able to adapt, evolve, the urban vision according to the reality of the needs and opportunities and the balance of power within the site.

6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?

Ernesto Apolaya was rewarded with the special mention in the last session of Europan with the project Les Alliés de Moulins in Moulins (FR). This project is in line with the projects we are developing. The studies announced by Bordeaux Métropole, following the competition, are both a new opportunity to work on these themes that are important to us and a first experience with Bordeaux, city in which the Atyelier CMJN has partially moved in since 2017. This project allows us to meet key players in the development of this metropolis and to quickly make our name, our specificities and our work known.