Is a huge diamond-like volume the new MÉCA in Bordeaux, the latest architecture by BIG – Bjarke Engels Group. Located just a few steps from the city’s train station, at a strategic point on the banks of the River Garonne, the MÉCA – an acronym for Maison de l’Économie Créative et de la Culture en Aquitaine – consists of 4,800 prefabricated concrete panels and covers a total area of 18,000 square meters. Its twisted shape is a clever trick designed by the architects to ensure that all the spaces within it are part of a fluid and functional “ring” circulation. The building, which revolves around a central “urban hall” en plein air, welcomes the public in a large lobby with access to a restaurant (full of cork details, a way to pay homage to the local wine culture) and a theatre with 250 seats; higher up are the cinema and, even higher up, an auditorium, warehouses, artists’ studios and a cafeteria.

Photo Laurian Ghinitoiu.