Bordeaux: urban, alternative attitude

Going off the beaten track, reinventing our consumption patterns, and our approach to work, as well as making space for free expression… a dip into Bordeaux’ third places where these ideals are promoted.

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Bordeaux has adopted the collaborative economy. Shared work and discussion places are proliferating on both banks of the Garonne River, mirroring the spread of coworking spaces: La Ruche near Gambetta, Le Node in Saint-Pierre District, La Girafe in the Chartons district, Loco Coworking in Pessac, and many more.  

"Sharing" lifestyle

Darwin is a full-scale innovation crucible in the forefront of this movement. This 20,000m2 former military barracks on Quai des Queyries on the right bank is constantly bubbling with activity. It acts as a green economy hub, featuring an urban farm, an XXL skatepark, free expression spaces for graffiti artists, an organic grocery, Le Magasin Général restaurant, co-working spaces, a bike-polo field, and a wellness centre (Le Bivouac), with a charming "found" décor.

The Garage Modern is a pioneering institution in the Bacalan district. For over 15 years, this extraordinary venue has hosted cultural events and opened its mechanical repair workshop to anyone who wishes to repair a car or bicycle - or have it repaired.

On the next street, PIP (Pression Imparfaitement Perfect), the first collaborative brewery project in France, has just opened in the shared gardens of Les Vivres de l’Art.

"Arty" lifestyle

Vivres de l’Art, a must-see artists’ workshop, located in the former French navy provision stores, attracts inquisitive visitors. An art gallery, exhibitions, concerts, festivals, and artists in residence are all directed by sculptor Jean François Buisson.

Fabrique Pola, a cultural cooperative devoted to visual arts and art in the city, initially located in Bègles, is expected to move to the old Pargade paint factory, Quai de Brazza, in summer 2016.

In 2010, seven unusual shelters shaped like clouds, owls, or even stars popped up on walking trails around outskirts of the city. The series, supported by the Bruit du frigo collective, in conjunction with the Zébra3/Buy-Self association, specialised in producing contemporary artworks, is due to grow during the 2016 season, with two new shelters: one by La Blanche lake in Ambarès and the other in Le Moulinat woods in Le Haillan.