The Avaricum district is located at the edge of the historic centre, on the north side of the conservation area. The site is, therefore, of strategic importance being situated between the medieval town and its modern extension. As part of the city urban renewal programme, the project is a point of entry into Bourges city centre, and forms a major point of development for the city and a unique opportunity to enhance its dynamism.
The scheme proposed by Arte Charpentier Architects and Frédéric Blatter proposes to create a major shopping and residential programme. It will extend the city centre towards the north while ensuring a continuity in the urban fabric interrupted by post-war urbanism.
The architects have played the card of diversity, favouring the creation of varied sizes and scales of massing and volume, making reference to the surrounding townscape. Streets and squares echo this approach with changing characters and atmospheres. The project thus gives a different perspective to the composition of the urban fabric, creating a new ‘piece’ of town.
The scheme comprises 135 social housing units, 30 shops, 8 medium-sized premises and 367 parking spaces.
This site is divided into two parts. In the north, along Avenue de Peterborough, new housing will be created as a continuation of pre-existing residential districts. The facades are designed as a series of sequences of varying length. Avaricum square, the centre of the programme, will be a convivial place, taking its character from the blend of old and new, and providing the setting for the remarkable architecture of half-timbered houses that close the southern end of the square. Here, the junction is made between rue Mirebeau to the south and the centre of the new district. Along Cours Avaricum, the project includes the development of specialist shops and boutiques, as an extension of the city’s shopping centre. The roofing design of the new shops reflects the characteristic character and shape of the medieval rooves.
– Client (commercial units/parking): Town planning and trade / Sogeprom
– Client (residential units): Centre Immo Promotion (CIP)
– Team representative: Arte Charpentier Architects
– Partner: Frédéric Blatter
– Landscaping: Hélène Soulier
– Structural engineering: SNC Lavalin
– Building services: Serted
– Acoustics: Taravella
– Quantity surveyor: Ecotech
– Inspection: Véritas
– Sustainable development: ALTO Ingenierie SAS
– Post code: 18000
– City: Bourges
– Competition date: 2006
– Expected delivery: 2015
– Project programme: residences and shops
– Surface area: 26,600 sqm
17,000 sqm of shops
9,600 sqm of housing
Photos credits : Pamela Pinna