An international competition was announced to create a museum dedicated to the ocean and to surfing that saw the participation of winner Steven Holl together with the Brazilian artist Solange Fabião and the studios of Enric Miralles/Benedetta Tagliabue, Brochet Lajus Pueyo, Bernard Tschumi and Jean-Michel Willmotte.
The shape of the building is linked to the spatial concept of under the sky and under the sea, . The outside is a concave square open to the sky and the sea with the horizon visible in the distance.
The complementary convex curve (“under the sea”) is the ceiling of the main exhibition space.
In the centre of the main square are two structures completely made of glass, like two “glass stones” housing the restaurant and the kiosk for surfers, while in the 'South-West corner there is an open portico that connects with the auditorium and the indoor exhibition spaces and can also host meetings and events. The architecture and landscape blend in the gardens and the museum is linked to the ocean.
by Agnese Bifulco
Design: Steven Holl Architects, Solange Fabião, Rüssli Architekten
Place: Biarritz, France
Images: Iwan Baan, Steven Holl Architects