GARONNE MÉTROPOLE is an urban strategy to transform the Garonne river into a singular downtown that generates revitalized dynamics between port, landscape and city. These three longitudinal systems currently operate as a constellation of independent islands, neglecting access to the waterfront.


Four strategies to establish this new centrality:

OPEN Recover the city’s natural heritage, permeability and accessibility to the local ecosystems and waterfront, greening and blueing 75%!

CONNECT Decongest up to 50% of traffic with polycentric and MaaS strategies.

PROTECT Balance the current 60% land occupation with a softer industrialization that regenerates fragile areas and biodiversity.

STIMULATE Citymaking through citizen empowerment and hybrid programming: 100%WIP social scenario

The proposed site of Bassens and its industrial character is already a mediator apparatus that silently metabolizes inputs from the river, the port and the city because of it logistics nature. The challenge is that it operates as a blackbox. By addressing this problem, new dynamics are created, reconnected and exposed in the form of public realm: an open metabolism.

This connection is made exploiting the buffer space of the industrial plot: a vacant perimeter space that provides isolation and protection. By inhabiting this boundary and inverting its logic, the proposal seeks to link an enemble of inclusive functions and flows informed by the -so far- invisible dynamics of the port. New transversal axes re-connect the plateau with the river, overcoming their topographic disconnection.


The project evokes three urban archetypes and tests them as spatial strategies for revitalization:

“The campus” (point network) a hybrid economic-educative campus based on local resources.

“The promenade” (line) a pedestrian amenities promenade where local businesses meet the gradual appropriation of the public space by the people.

“The garden” (surface) An eco-resilient park that cures a polluted and risk-flooded former site;


Performative rather than conclusive - a basic proposal that accepts informal and spontaneous appropiations of the space by people and institutions. Bassens fantastique is a place to show the narrative of the city, where memories and experiences are stored. Our position as architects is that the living city needs to evolve, welcome, accommodate and make the habitants complicit of the urban design.