An industrial quarter’s with an ever present industrial past, the Bassins à Flots is replete with cranes, canal boats, railway yards and silos. The planned extension of the tram line has imposed the redefinition of this area which has been disconnected from the dynamism of the city centre.

The project is based on the in-built strengths of the quarter and which illicits the development of a project-based culture, gradually built by all of the actors involved. These factors instill an attitude towards the very nature of the city.The area incites a reflection about the multiple roles it could have, including habitat, work, social activity and leisure culture.

The Basins can also be considered to be an Eco-quarter and which is innovative and made to measure to the scale of this vast area. Taking into consideration the necessity for fine grained housing development, pedestrian use and extensive and high quality shared spaces, it aims to be an, urban and European quarter for the 21st Century; an exemplar for other such large scale redevelopments.

ANMA has developed a new type of decision-making body for this project.The Atelier des Basins aims to integrate the social, economic and social actors of the area into the development process for this new quarter. The Atelier is the main decision-making body of the new district and brings together developers, public authorities and neighbourhood groups. This pro-active body enables the development of a common project, integrating the requirements and desires of the key actors from the start. The Atelier discusses the choices made by the architects (aesthetic variety, the participation of young local architects…) as well as developing the architectural programmes according to the potential of the quarter. This project brings into focus the “genius loci”, or in-built qualities of the quarter itself, and brings about the development of “urban deal-making” wherein the process of negotiation takes place in this public forum, in an attempt to avoid conflict and develop pro-active and made-to-measure solutions.

The implementation of this Overall Development Plan implies the development of new tools for the development of this urban project ( adaptable feasibility studies, mix and match typological forms…) Public consultation is at the heart of this process ( information sessions, the Bassins festival, schools programmes).

Going hand-in-hand with these questions is the issue of energy usage. More than just a traditional eco-quarter, the Basins aims to be an experimental area as much from the point of view of building design as from the point of view of energy and waste management.

As well as being the Masterplanner for this district, ANMA is also designing housing for some parts of the area. Fulfilling the requirements for a granular urban district and echoing the dense and green housing designed elsewhere in Bordeaux by the practice ( Bordeaux Armagnac Housing) ANMA has developed dense “experimental” warehouse-style apartment blocks which look over the water. The key feature of this project is the giant shared inter-climatic zone, which controls and manages the temperature of the apartments and creates a shared semi-internal garden for the inhabitants. Many of these apartments also feature private terraces either overlooking the internal garden or the street level.