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Bordeaux Opens Music Arena Amid Building Boom

FRANCE’S fifth largest concert arena, which opened in Bordeaux in January 2018, features an impressive shell-like concrete facade.

All 81,800 square feet (7,600 square metres) of the envelope was cast in-situ in just 18 months.

Above: The Bordeaux Metropole Arena features an impressive shell-like concrete facade. Below: The facade was cast in situ in 18 months (images courtesy of Bordeaux Metropole Arena).

Designed in a building information modelling (BIM) environment by architect Rudy Ricciotti and built by contractor Bouygues, the flexible new venue offers 20 different seating configurations.

Above: The building was designed in a BIM environment (image courtesy of Bouygues Construction).

Accommodating between 2,500 to 11,300 spectators, the Bordeaux Metropole Arena will host music concerts, as well as sporting events such as basketball and tennis.

Above: The new facility features flexible seating configurations, making it suitable for music concerts as well as sports (image courtesy of Bordeaux Metropole Arena).

Initially intended to be the third largest in the country with capacity for 15,000 people, early plans for the arena were first proposed in 2004.

Above: Initial proposals for the arena called for a maximum capacity of 15,000 spectators, now reduced to 11,300 (image courtesy of Bordeaux Metropole Arena).

The project - which was then to include retail and entertainment facilities - had undergone a lengthy development phase, and was finally dropped in 2012 due to the lack of a private investor.

However, in 2013 the Bordeaux metropolitan government stepped in and agreed to invest USD $95 million to develop a smaller hall, which will be operated by a live entertainment group for the next 20 years.

Above: The arena will revert to public management within the next 20 years (image courtesy of Bordeaux Metropole Arena).

Afterward, the building’s operation will fall into public hands.

Situated in Floirac, a suburb just across the Garonne River from the city, the arena forms part of a major, urban overhaul outlined in the “Bordeaux 2030” masterplan.

Above: The new arena is part of a larger masterplan of southeastern Bordeaux, which aims to create more space for urban development ( image courtesy of Bordeaux Euratlantique).

Accommodating more than 25,000 new residents and 3.2 million square feet (300,000 square metres) of offices, the total public investment on the fringes of southeastern Bordeaux will total USD $6.9BN over the next 20 years.


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