Place Gambetta has lost its splendor
At the end of the 19th century, Place Gambetta - occupied in its center by a square and an English garden - became a nerve center of circulation as the automobile developed. The increased traffic does not prevent it from being perceived by most Bordeaux residents as a rather chic place. Until the dawn of the 2000s, it shared with the more popular Place de la Victoire the title of neighborhood with lively evenings.
At the start of this millennium, Bordeaux is reborn, new festive places are appearing and Place Gambetta is gradually fading. The tram development program from which it is excluded will make it the heart of the urban bus network through which more than 15,000 users pass daily.
Despite the disappearance of the English garden in the 1950s, it remains green thanks to the thirty tall trees occupying its center. Other hazards harm him, such as the closure of the famous Le Régent brewery, which opened in 1893. This place "where you had to be seen" has given way to a pizzeria which has not found its audience. The disappearance of Printemps windows, one of the first department stores to enter Bordeaux, also contributed to its decline. But it is said that the Regent may well reappear soon and that the Printemps building will give way to an upscale hotel complex.
Gambetta renovation plan underway
The district renovation project led by the town hall and the city should modernize Place Gambetta while restoring it to its former glory. At a cost approaching 10 million euros, the work started in November 2018 should end in the summer of 2020.
The project to restructure this symbolic square was born out of a long dialogue started in 2013 in which residents, traders, the SOS Gambetta association and, more broadly, Bordeaux residents participated actively. All of these contributions contributed to the specifications of the management plan. The project management competition launched by the City and the Metropolis was won in 2016 by the West 8 group. The multidisciplinary team responsible for carrying out the project includes: The group of architects from Rotterdam West 8, the office Bordeaux technical studies Cetab, the Lyonnais collective of light designers Les Eclaireurs and Bordeaux landscape designer Sabine Haristoy.
The project plans to modify the roadways to favor pedestrian access on wider sidewalks. The central reservation should disappear in favor of a more balanced distribution of the vegetation over the whole area so that it is both a place and a garden.
The future Gambetta "garden square"
The main goal of the project is to preserve and enhance the architectural richness of Place Gambetta while harmonizing flows. For this, we create two dissociated and complementary zones. The exteriors of the square are designed to facilitate traffic and economic activities while a large landscaped center will make way at a more peaceful pace.
To recreate the harmony between a new garden inspired by English squares bordered by a stone wall and the buildings listed in the inventory of Historical Monuments, alleys of beige and gray slabs will link from the adjacent streets giving on the square.
Revitalizing this place by revegetating it required sacrifices that made some teeth cringe. The chestnut trees that occupied the center had to be sacrificed, the state of their roots prohibiting displacement. Their high branches hiding the historic facades, they have been replaced by smaller shrubs and groves. The new square will have more than 70 trees instead of 38 and the plant spaces will occupy almost 1,500m2 more than before. The species chosen will make it possible to offer a garden with varied colors and blossoms between the paths and bordered lawns. Protected from traffic, the plant park will offer passers-by as well as its visitors a stone foundation completely bordering it indoors.
Finally, in the heart of this garden square was missing a fountain. The designers of the project chose an original concept combining freshness and animation: a modular fountain passing from a dry plot to the water mirror or the jet fountain.
Will living in Place Gambetta become a trend in the years to come? Until then, if you want to discover the properties for sale in the sector, visit our real estate agency in Bordeaux!