Bègles, Bordeaux Métropole (FR)


Project Scales L/S - Urban and architectural

Location City of Bègles, Metropolitan Bordeaux, O.I.N. (National Interest Project) Bordeaux Euratlantique, Sector Bègles Garonne, IBBA

Population Bègles 26,400 inhab. – Metropolitan Bordeaux 750,000 inhab.

Strategic site 32 ha – Project site 6.5 ha + 4.4 ha

Site proposed by / Actors involved City of Bègles, Metropolitan Bordeaux, EPA Bordeaux Euratlantique (Etablissement Public d’Aménagement – public development corporation), with private partners : groupe ETEX, Poste IMMO

Owner of the site private owners (groupe ETEX, Poste IMMO)

Post-competition phase studies and projects, assisting project manager, urban planning and landscape architecture manager, mediation with economic players, urban and architectural project to be arranged with the partners

Team representative architect, uban planner, lanscaper

More Information

How can the site contribute to the productive city?

The area Bègles Garonne (80 hectares, about 250 companies, 1600 jobs) was industrial port activities and cod drying factories in the nineteenth century (one is still in operation). The dryers disappeared in favour of small industries and then automobile agencies and logistics warehouses such as Coliposte. The paper mill (Siniat group, 100 jobs) was founded in 1929. It recycles paper for the production of plasterboard. The site presents urban diversity and land recycling issues that need to be investigated with the economic players. How to adapt an active industrial site (Bègles paper mill) and transform a logistics platform (Coliposte) in order to best optimize, integrate and diversify production activities in a territory that is experiencing strong dynamic metropolitan transformation?

City strategy

The site is part of the Euratlantique Bordeaux National Interest Project. For the Bègles Garonne sector, the Public Development Corporation EPA is using a strategy based on the German Internationale Bauaustellung IBA. This is to develop a series of high momentum projects with the contribution of private operators interested in experimentation and innovation. The City and the EPA are pursuing several urban planning objectives to find a direct relationship to the river, transform the A631 motorway and Wilson Embankment into an urban boulevard, encourage urban and ecological continuity to other project sites, reconnect with the history of the site, preserve architectural heritage and reconcile densification and flood risk by developing appropriate urban and architectural forms. Development of this sector along with the construction of the new Jean-Jacques Bosc bridge in 2020 (OMA, Clément Blanchet - Rem Koolhaas) will increase employment.

Site definition 

The site near Bègles City Hall and a new neighbourhood under construction (ZAC City Hall) is large properties served by roads with heavy lorry traffic. There are a variety of businesses mainly on private land: small artisanal workshops, robust hotel and restaurants, a training institute, a few shops, isolated houses set back from the street, a day hospital and interstitial spontaneous activities (snack bars, food trucks). There is some remarkable architecture recalling the industrial past: a chartreuse on the paper mill site and the Volpillac dwelling next to the Coliposte site. Physical and visual openings to the Garonne are almost non-existent due to the elevated A631 (70,000 vehicles a day). Wilson Embankment also serves as a dike and reminds us of the risk of flooding on the site.

How is Production Considered in the Urban Diversity Program?

Bègles paper mill: adaptation of an active production site to enhance urban and programmatic interfaces.
Historic landmark and emblematic site on the left bank of the Garonne River in Bègles, the paper mill is also an enclave and a barrier to a qualitative transformation of this area. The challenge for Europan teams is to not place in opposition active industry, urban quality and environmental concerns. In consultation with the company and with an understanding of the manufacturing process, there should be a search to optimize the use of space (land, borders, facades) in order to both improve functioning and enhance the site’s heritage with the goal of hosting new activities and new programs on the site’s edges. Short and long term development scenarios should allow for the exploration of various types of diversity.

Coliposte Site : redevelopment of the logistics site which is going to be released and planning of mixed-use property compatible with a metropolitan suburb.
Moving the parcel business will allow urban diversity back onto this former industrial site. The issue is to design and integrate flexible real estate products, mixed or reversible, combining architectural innovation, risk management and productive employment specificities. The future of this remarkable site facing the Garonne River, a symbolic and logistical entry point, should be planned in consultation with Poste Immo and the expertise of La Poste, the largest local services company (energy, silver economy, e-commerce, co-working, concierge, urban logistics, banking). Innovation will be sought in terms of operational composition and delivery and the integration of natural hazards.

Bègles paper mill


Abandonned railway
Coliposte site, Quai Wilson access


Questions on the site

Are teams allowed to design architectural and landscape projects on the entire strategic site or are they limited to the two project sites, meaning Coliposte and the paper mill ?

Teams can make proposals on the entire strategic site, and even beyond, while considering several planning temporalities, in the short, middle and long run.

Could we have access to the inner plans of the buildings on the paper mill site ?

We don't have the inner plans of the paper mill buildings. Furthermore, they are not necessarily relevent at this stage of the competition.

Where is the paper produced by the paper mill mainly shipped to ?

The paper produced by the paper mill is mainly shipped to plasterboard manufacturing plants, in France, in Europe but also in South America.

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