Located on the coast of Biarritz, the Museum of Ocean and Surf is the result of combining two opposed but complementary geometries, the concave and the convex. Each is associated with a metaphor. While the concave gives an ‘under the sky’ image and defines the character of the exterior spaces, the convex, outlined by the undulation of the ceiling, expresses the ‘under the sea’ idea and forms the exhibition halls. Concavity and convexity are thus the two sides of a topographic structure executed with white reinforced concrete and a roof that stretches on to the landscape after forming a passable plaza, called the Place de l’Océan, a venue for outdoor events.
From the building’s sinuous cornice rise two volumes which strike a clear contrast with the plinth in both geometry and materiality. The volumes, faceted and glazed, contain a cafeteria and a surfers’ kiosk. They are like ‘glass boulders’ visually echoing the two huge rocks lying on the beach and discernible from the museum roof.
Cité de l’Océan et du Surf, Biarritz (Francia France).
SNC Biarritz Ocean.
Steven Holl Architects / Stevn Holl, Solange Fabião.
R. Dias (responsable proyecto project architect); C. McVoy, F. Taboada, F. Bartolozzi, C. Brokaw, C. Caggiula, F. Guiraud, R. Li, J. Muszbeck, E. Ng, A. Orsini, N. Wilmotte, E. Wisecarver, L. Wu, C. Yessios; Rüsslin Architekten.
Arquitecto local Associate architect
Agence d’architecture X. Leibar / J. M. Seigneurin.