BIG + FREAKS freearchitects plan MECA cultural center
BIG + FREAKS freearchitects plan MECA cultural center BIG + FREAKS freearchitects plan MECA cultural center
jun 20, 2012

BIG + FREAKS freearchitects plan MECA cultural center

danish practice BIG and french firm FREAKS freearchitects, have won a competition to design ‘MECA’, the maison de l’economie creative et de la culture en equitane in bordeaux, france. positioned along the historic garonne riverfront, the looping structure  will contain three regional visual and performing arts agencies within one location, framing a centralized and outdoor public space for events overlooking the water. the 12,000 square meter building integrates contemporary art, a performing arts institution, and center for literature and movies. a promenade rises to form a roof above the lobbies, generating the urban room’s stage with skylit galleries below and then returns to ground level to continue the pedestrian route.

the looping structure frames a centralized outdoor performing space



‘when a region or a city invests millions in a major new cultural institution – it often ends up benefiting only the informed few that already have an interest in the arts. not only does the méca spill its activities into the public realm and the urban room, but the public is also invited to walk around, through, above and below the new cultural gateway. by inviting the art into the city and the city into the arts, the méca will provide opportunities for new hybrids of cultural and social life beyond the specific definitions of its constituent parts.’bjarke ingels, founding partner, BIG

rooftop terrace



the three regional entities composing the program are idiomatic to the french public way of supporting and promoting culture all over the territory. working on the méca building in bordeaux is a great occasion to cross views and balance between international references and local issues.’guillaume aubry, cyril gauthier & yves pasquet, founding partners, FREAKS freearchitects

centralized outdoor performing space

interior space transitioning from the outdoor performance area

interior performing space




rooftop terrace

centralized outdoor performance area

at night



project info:


type: competition
client: conseil regional daquitaine
collaborators: BIG, FREAKS freearchitects, ducks sceno, khephren ingeniere, upers, alto ingeniere, vincent hedo NT, PBNL, myrk & moriceru, PH.R
size: 12,350 m2
location: bordeaux, france
status: in progress

  • sorry, we’re out of spacial ideas, but we can do nice renderings, though

    erm says:
  • SO much space to do SO little.

    AAB says:
  • So bad
    The worst combination of architects ever.
    stupid project
    go back playing ping pong

    bjarke ingels says:
  • I personally like the slipway and the red crocodile: HA!
    Did you know that crocodiles and gators can move their liver to change their center of gravity while in water?


    michele says:
  • These Freak-guys are up and coming!

    Maxu says:
  • We absolutely love the interior – did you have a look at the red artefact extending from the ceiling? Mind blowing if you ask me! Great design I hope would see the light of day.

    [url=] Holland and Green [/url]

    Holland and Green says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
492,661 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample