The official opening date for Caen's new public library, designed by Rotterdam-based practice OMA, has been slated for January 13, 2017. The Bibliothèque Alexis de Tocqueville will serve as the main library for the metropolitan region of Caen la Mer (in Normandy, France), with 12,000sqm of freely accessible multimedia space. Positioned on the tip of a peninsula that extends from the city to the English Channel, the site is part of a larger area of redevelopment. The ambition is for the library to become "a new civic center" for the city.
Caen: The Latest Architecture and News
After two years of further development, MVRDV has released new images of their masterplan for Caen in Normandy, "La Grande Mosaïque." The masterplan, which was first revealed in May 2013, re-envisions a 600 hectare area of the center of Caen and the Caen Peninsula, connecting the city to the neighboring towns of Hérouville Saint-Clair and Mondeville.
The design attempts to counter the effects of the area's de-industrialization, integrating historic and environmental elements of the area into the new masterplan. The release of these new images also marks the opening of an exhibition of the design, which will be on public display in "Le Pavillon" in the old city port until the 13th March 2016 in an attempt to engage local residents.
Construction has begun on OMA’s competition-winning proposal for the BMVR (Bibliothèque Multimédia à Vocation Régionale) Library in northern France. Located at the tip of a peninsula in an old industrial port area of Caen, the 13,000 square meter public library is shaped by four protruding wings that point towards four of the city’s landmarks: l'Abbaye aux Hommes, l'Abbaye aux Dames, the train station to the south and a new urban development to the west.
More on BMVR after the break...
Stretching beyond the natural constraints of Presqu’ile de Caen and into the neighboring towns of Mondeville and Hérouville Saint Clair, MVRDV’s competition-winning vision will transform 600ha of industrial brown fields into a collection of gardens punctuated by a mosaic of urban settlements. This ambition, titled ‘La Grande Mosaique’, is strongly based on respect for the existing structures and defined by small scale interventions that will result in a large scale structure vision for Greater Caen.
The proposal was selected from three submittals by the public development agency SPLA for being, as Caen Mayor Philippe Duron describes, the “most impressive plan”. It was commended by the jury for its “fresh view” on urbanism.
With urbanistic planning in mind, the proposal by Baumschlager Eberle for the law courts of Caen redefines a new domain in the center of the city. In collaboration with Atelier d’Architecture Pierre Champenois, the shape of the building agrees not only with the tradition but of course with the more complex duties of law courts in the 21st century. An orthogonal pattern constitutes the base for the organization of the needs of the law courts. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Caen was destroyed during the Second World War and has been restored since, the Presqu’ile project is considered its second restoration. The 300ha Presqu’ile de Caen is located between the city centre and the sea and occupied by industrial structures among which some industrial monuments. MVRDV joined forces with French architect Diagram experienced in the site, landscape architect Territoires and engineering firm IOSIS. The project is a vision of the future based on research and for this the team also comprises of Swiss sociologist Philippe Cabane and Pro-Developpement, a company specialist in development strategy.