Bordeaux’s Cité des civilisations du vin
In 2016 Bordeaux will inaugurate the first Center for wine Civilisations
A new arrival among the world’s leading contemporary cultural institutions, Bordeaux’s Cité des civilisations du vin will open its doors to the public in 2016. Unique, innovative and dynamic, this new landmark will take visitors on a journey through time and space as they explore the cultures and civilisations which are intimately associated with wine.
The Cité des civilisations du vin aims to become the world’s foremost cultural centre and tourist attraction dedicated to wine. It is also a project of great strategic significance for the city, continuing Bordeaux’s 21st century renaissance with an iconic centre devoted to a product which is fundamental to the region’s identity: wine.
The Cité des civilisations du vin is set on a 15,000m2 site at the gateway to Bordeaux, a beacon rising above the waters of the Garonne on the quayside of the Bassins à Flots.
The iconic, audacious, thoroughly modern design of Cité des civilisations du vin is in perfect keeping with the institution’s international status, and the emergence of Bordeaux as a great 21st century city:
- a total floor space of 13,350m2 dedicated to the many facets and dimensions of wine
- an iconic tower standing 55 metres tall
- a top-floor viewing platform offering an unbeatable view of Bordeaux
The symbolic laying of the first stone was held during the Vinexpo trade fair in June 2013. Construction began in earnest in late 2013. The project incorporates a genuine commitment to environmental quality: 70% of the building’s power will be provided by locally-produced renewable energy, with a double-layer external shell that maximises natural ventilation and a Natura 2000-certified garden.
￼The architecture and design are intended to evoke the swirling of wine in a glass, its shimmering robe of golden hues designed to serve as a visual echo of Bordeaux’s limestone facades, and the bustling waters of the River Garonne. The concrete structure is supported by almost 300 stakes driven 30 metres into the ground, enveloped in a watertight carapace of curving glued-laminated timber beams. The centre’s striking outer shell is composed of 900 glass and 2300 aluminium panels, each one unique.
A distinctive, immersive, multi-sensory cultural experience and a dynamic, living space
Innovative in its form and design, the 3,500m2 permanent exhibition space will present visitors with an incredible array of experiences via its 20 themed modules incorporating no fewer than 150 multimedia works. The exhibition will be highly accessible, with a bespoke audioguide helping visitors to navigate their way through this immersive, multi-sensory environment. Available in 8 languages, the content of this audioguide can be tailored to suit visitors of different ages and with different needs: audio- description, subtitles etc.
A voyage of discovery, the exhibition route introduces visitors to the world of wine and the indelible mark it has left on our heritage, our environment and our cultures. The content for each section of the exhibition has been created with input from numerous experts in that field.
The Cité des civilisations du vin is a living landmark designed to be experienced. The ground floor will be home to a wine bar, international wine boutique, snack restaurant and gift shop. The panoramic view of the 7th floor will be given over to the restaurant Le 7ème ciel, while the 8th floor, 35m above ground level, will host the viewing platform offering visitors a breath-taking view of Bordeaux.
Honorary ambassadors and international partners
Wine is a universal phenomenon, the ‘civilisations’ of our centre’s name are to be found in countless countries around the world. Represented in the permanent tour and in temporary shows, Cité des civilisations du vin will maintain close links with other wine-producing countries with a view to forming lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships. The Cité des civilisations du vin has received the whole-hearted backing of two internationally-respected figures: Robert Parker and Pierre Arditi were appointed as Honorary ambassadors in 2013. Air France has been an official partner of Cité des civilisations du vin since the project was first launched in 2009.
A cultural facility with three key strategic dimensions
The 425,000 visitors expected to make the trip to Cité des civilisations du vin every year will be able to choose between full and half-day packages, with entrance including access to the permanent exhibition, temporary shows and a tasting session on the rooftop viewing platform.
As a gateway to the world’s wine regions, Cité des civilisations du vin will include a wine tourism hub prodiving information about visits and tours offerings locally, but also nationally and internationally.
2) Economic and social dynamism
Specialist agency Protourisme has conducted two studies, the first in May 2010 and the second April 2013, into the economic and social impact of Cité des civilisations du vin for Bordeaux. The results serve to highlight the strategic importance of this project:
- 600 full-time jobs created (direct, indirect and related) and €30 million injected into the economy over the 3 years of construction.
- 750 full-time jobs created (direct, indirect and related) and a further €40 million injected into the economy each year once the centre is fully operational.
3) A cultural beacon
The Cité des civilisations du vin will be open to all forms of artistic expression and creativity. The Cité des civilisations du vin will be equipped with a 750m2 space set aside for special exhibitions, a 250-seater auditorium, 3 tasting rooms, a reading room, pedagogic workshops, capable of hosting conferences, cultural events, prestigious private exhibitions, literary meetings, film screenings and more.