'Cité de l'océan et du surf', a project in Biarritz, France by Steven Holl, and Brazilian artist Solange Fabião, opens in june 2011. The museum intends to raise awareness of oceanic issues and scientific aspects of the surf and sea. The design revolves around a central plaza that Steven Holl describes as 'open to sky and sea, the horizon in the distance.'
A concave "under the sky" shape creates a central gathering plaza, open to sky and sea, with the horizon in the distance. The convex structural ceiling forms the "under the sea" exhibition spaces. This concept generates a unique profile and form for the building, and through its insertion and efficient site utilization, the project integrates seamlessly into the surrounding landscape.
Shaped like a giant wave, the museum is composed of delicate glass structures that anchor themselves into the encircling white concrete. The precise integration of concept and topography gives the building a unique profile. Towards the ocean, the concave form of the building plaza is extended through the landscape. With slightly cupped edges, the landscape, a mix of field and local vegetation, is a continuation of the building and will host festivals and daily events that are integrated with the museum facilities.
Boldly inserted into the site, the building uses transparency, form and material to generate a unique profile that rises from the terrain to frame the sky, sea and horizon. Read more on OpenBuildings.