Just completed: Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf in Biarritz, by Steven Holl Architects

The Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf, designed by Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Brazilian born and New York-based artist and architect Solange Fabiao, is just completed.
Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf, Biarritz, France — Rendering of Master Plan, ©Steven Holl Architects
Site Plan. Image courtesy: Steven Holl Architects

The starting point is the spatial concept of "Under the sky"/"Under the sea". The building derives its overall form from a concave/convex relation.
South Elevation. Image courtesy of Luc Médrinal

Concave is the exterior; convex are the inner spaces. A complementary aspect to this project is that the building merged with its site enhancing the dual relation of the concave and the convex, the exterior and the interior.
Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf — Concept Sketch, ©Steven Holl Architects

Not only is the building integrated in its site but also it is created by the site. In this context, even the exterior spaces appear to have been treated as an "interior" space, if we consider the sky as "ceiling".
Plaza, ©Steven Holl Architects

Whatever the sky may be treated, this results in a fascinating building/central gathering place for the city of Biarritz, conceived as a continuation with its surrounded environment.
Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf. Image credit: Iwan Baan
> Two glass boulders host a restaurant and the surfer's kiosk. These boxes are connected
to the two boulders on the beach in the distance. The glass boulders
can be reached through the main entry lobby connecting the street level to the restaurant and surfer's kiosk.
They are also accessible independently through the plaza.
Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf. Image credit: Iwan Baan

The exterior slope serves as a gathering plaza and a skate pool. It is made out of a textured white concrete covered with Portuguese cobblestones paving with grass and natural vegetation.
Interior Space, ©Steven Holl Architects

The interior space derives its specificity from curved interior walls and ceiling. The walls are covered with a white plaster and the floors with a wooden floor.
Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf. Image credit: Iwan Baan
Interior Space. Image credit: Iwan Baan. Originally appeared on designboom
Interior Space — Exhibition Space. Image credit: Iwan Baan. Originally appeared on designboom
South elevation. Image courtesy: Solange Fabiao.
Originally appeared on designboom
West Elevation. Image courtesy: Solange Fabiao
Originally appeared on designboom
North Elevation. Image courtesy: Solange Fabiao
Originally appeared on designboom
South Elevation. Image courtesy: Solange Fabiao.
Originally appeared on designboom

Who is she?
Artist and architect Solange Fabiao was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Fabiao, since very early age has been committed to the fine arts considering painting lifetime activity. At the age of 8, Fabiao produced her first set, a large-scale painting of a tree on a black background. Diversity in the creative process and in the forms of expression has been her focal point; Fabiao studied Architecture and received her BFA in Set Design. Fabiao worked as set designer for the Brazilian Network Rede Globo and designed sets for theater in Rio de Janeiro and in Berlin, Germany. Fabiao studied digital media and art history at the HDK and Freie Universität Berlin seven months before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In 1994 Fabiao left Berlin to New York.
Fabiao received several honorable mentions for her architectural projects, in 2005 she won the architecture competition for the Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf in Biarritz, France. The collaboration with Steven Holl Architects is now complete and set to open in June 2011. As industrial designer Fabiao has launched in 2005 in Austria an innovative door handle which combines pliable silicone technology and sculptural qualities manufactured by Olivari in Italy. Elementar no.1 — Path to Henry Hudson, an outdoor installation was part in Ahoy! Where lies Henry Hudson an exhibition of Henry Hudson memorials in Woodstock, NY celebrating the Quadricentennial of Hudson's explorations in 2009.
In 2008 Fabiao inaugurated her project AMAZONIA (Projecting on Black) at Western Bridge, a non-profit space in Seattle — a HD Video series shot in the Amazon region during the dry and wet seasons of 2006 and 2007. The single-direction videos, which presented unedited the dramatic changes that occur during sunrise and sunset were projected on a black-painted surface revealing a new kind of depth to the projected image while also exploring the extremes of darkness and light.
Fabiao's art projects have been exhibited in Europe, in the Americas and in the Middle East. Including Global Public Art Project TRANSITIO: TRANSITIAO_MIAMI in 2006, TRANSITIO_NYC in 2005 (Made possible by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council with support from The September 11th Fund; the project was selected to participate in the 2006 Architecture Venice Biennial to represent NYC at Cities, Architecture and Society Exhibition) 2004 TRANSITIO_BEIRUT, 2003 exhibition TRANSITIO NYC_TORNIO in the Aine Art Museum in Finland, 2002 at Art and Idea — Mexico City and 2001 Duration: 1 hour and 3 minutes — Location: 1.3 miles at the Paul Rogers Gallery in NYC coinciding with the Guggenheim Museum exhibition, Brazil: Body and Soul. In 1997 she participated in the 47th Venice Biennial presenting the Internet project Cyberclone 2000.
AMAZONIA (Projecting on Black) is on view from April 30 to June 11? 2011 at the Simon Fraser University gallery in Vancouver, Canada.

Building Facts
Project: Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf
Design Architects: Steven Holl ArchitectsSolange Fabiao
Project Architect: Rodolfo Dias
Project Advisor: Chris McVoy
Assistant project architect: Felipe Taboada
Project team: Francesco Bartolozzi, Christopher Brokaw, Cosimo Caggiula, Florance Guiraud, Richard Liu, johanna Muszbek, Ernest Ng, Alessandro Orsini, Nelson Wilmotte, Ebbie Wisecarver, Lan Wu, Christina Yessios.
Project Team DD/CD: Ruessli Architekten — Justin Ruessli, Mimi Kueh, Stephan Bieri, Bjorn Zepnik
Associate Architects: Agence d'Architecture — X. Leibar, J.M. Seigneurin
Structural Consultant: Betec and Vinci Construction Marseille
Acoustical Consultant: AVEL Acoustique
HVAC Consultant: Elithis
General Contractor: Faura Silva, GTM Sud-Ouest Batiment
Location: Biarritz, France
Status: Completed
Year: 2011
Photographs: Iwan Baan

Source: Steven Holl Architects

Images appeared on Steven Holl Architects, except if specified on designboom

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