euratlantique is a vast 800,000 square meter-masterplan centered around bordeaux’s saint-jean railway station.
the program was created in light of a new high speed train connection with paris, and seeks to establish bordeaux as a leading european city. as part of the development, sou fujimoto has teamed up with french practice laisné roussel to propose a series of timber towers that climb to a total height of 50 meters. titled ‘canopia’, the mixed-use scheme includes residential units, offices, and retail outlets.
measuring 17,000 square meters, the project comprises four towers each densely populated with trees and other vegetation. commercial space is housed at lower levels, with apartments stacked above. private balconies become larger as the building ascends, providing more room for greenery and plantation. this culminates in four rooftop gardens, each with their own distinct atmosphere. the terraces are connected with the remainder of the scheme horizontally, as well as vertically, allowing users to navigate between gardens and towers.
‘what sets this project apart is the proposal for a collection of themed rooftop gardens connected by walkways,’ explains the design team. ‘particular attention has been paid to delivering quality shared spaces, both on the fringes of the site with the terrace gardens, or at the heart of the development with the green oasis.’ residents are thus given access to a series of gardens: an agricultural space with vegetable allotments, fruit trees, vines, a compost area, water reservoirs, a winter garden, a terrace for the restaurant, and a rooftop playground. the wooden frame is constructed from silver fir or spruce beams and posts, with floors made from cross-laminated timber. glulam bars are incorporated into the frame to help stabilize the tower.
apartments offer inhabitants at least one private balcony — many include more — or even an external terrace that wraps around the entirety of the residence. at ground level, a park sits at the center of the scheme, encouraging pedestrian movement across the site. this configuration is also an attempt to ensure that the development exists comfortably within its context, attracting passersby from the adjacent tram stop.