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Antigone District

Antigone District

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The Antigone District is a neighbourhood part of Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

, southern France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, at 43°36′29"N 3°53′24"E. It is best known for its architectural design by Ricardo Bofill
Ricardo Bofill
Ricardo Bofill, also Ricard Bofill Leví is a Catalan Spanish postmodernist architect.He studied at the School of Architecture in Geneva, Switzerland...

 .

The district is built on the grounds of the former Joffre Barracks, of which nowadays only the Montpellier's citadel
Citadel of Montpellier
The Citadel of Montpellier is an Early Modern fortification in the city of Montpellier, in the Hérault département of southern France. It was built between 1624 and 1627, after several rebellions under the orders of Louis XIII in order to keep watch over the town...

 remains. In 1977, then mayor Georges Frêche
Georges Frêche
Georges Frêche was a French politician. He served as President of the Languedoc-Roussillon Region from 2004 until his death: prior to that, he had been mayor of Montpellier for 27 years, and was also a former member of the National Assembly...

 started the process that led to the construction of the district.

The district's architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

 is Ricardo Bofill, from nearby Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

. It is designed in a grand neo-classical
Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

 way, blowing up classical motifs such as pediment
Pediment
A pediment is a classical architectural element consisting of the triangular section found above the horizontal structure , typically supported by columns. The gable end of the pediment is surrounded by the cornice moulding...

s, entablature
Entablature
An entablature refers to the superstructure of moldings and bands which lie horizontally above columns, resting on their capitals. Entablatures are major elements of classical architecture, and are commonly divided into the architrave , the frieze ,...

s and pilaster
Pilaster
A pilaster is a slightly-projecting column built into or applied to the face of a wall. Most commonly flattened or rectangular in form, pilasters can also take a half-round form or the shape of any type of column, including tortile....

s to gigantic scale. The district is located between the old centre of Montpellier and the river Lez. At the opposite site of the river, the Hôtel de la Région Languedoc-Roussillon
Languedoc-Roussillon
Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the 27 regions of France. It comprises five departments, and borders the other French regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne, Midi-Pyrénées on the one side, and Spain, Andorra and the Mediterranean sea on the other side.-Geography:The region is...

is also designed by Bofill and together with Antigone makes for one great visual axis 1 kilometre in length, nicknamed the Champs-Élysées
Champs-Élysées
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets and one of the most expensive strip of real estate in the world. The name is...

 of Montpellier
.

After Antigone, more sites on this side of Montpellier were developed.

The buildings consist mostly of low-income housing, public facilities and local shops.

The Antigone
Antigone
In Greek mythology, Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, Oedipus' mother. The name may be taken to mean "unbending", coming from "anti-" and "-gon / -gony" , but has also been suggested to mean "opposed to motherhood", "in place of a mother", or "anti-generative", based from the root...

 project, on a 36 hectares plot, has been one of the largest single development completed in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and was extremely publicized worldwide. It dates back to 1979, when the newly-elected municipal council of Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

 decided to undertake urban development and make a new district
District
Districts are a type of administrative division, in some countries managed by a local government. They vary greatly in size, spanning entire regions or counties, several municipalities, or subdivisions of municipalities.-Austria:...

 on a site near the city centre. The purpose of this town-planning operation was to develop a new district along a central axis which would provide for the city’s balanced eastward expansion and link the historical centre to the river Lez. The Architect Ricardo Bofill
Ricardo Bofill
Ricardo Bofill, also Ricard Bofill Leví is a Catalan Spanish postmodernist architect.He studied at the School of Architecture in Geneva, Switzerland...

 designed the master plan
Master plan
A master plan has many meanings, it can refer to:Generally it may be used for serious plans or strategies, see:*Strategy**Strategic planning**Comprehensive planning**Blueprint...

 and most of the buildings in Antigone. From the design of the plazas to the details of the facades and exterior furniture
Furniture
Furniture is the mass noun for the movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating and sleeping in beds, to hold objects at a convenient height for work using horizontal surfaces above the ground, or to store things...

 and landscape
Landscape
Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land, including the physical elements of landforms such as mountains, hills, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea, living elements of land cover including indigenous vegetation, human elements including different forms of...

 elements everything is proportionally and thematically related creating a stylistic unity in a district full of boulevards and plazas, parks, major residential areas, shops, schools and sports, cultural and administrative facilities.

Antigone's projects designed by Ricardo Bofill
Ricardo Bofill
Ricardo Bofill, also Ricard Bofill Leví is a Catalan Spanish postmodernist architect.He studied at the School of Architecture in Geneva, Switzerland...

:

-La Place du Nombre d'Or (288 apartments and shops)

-Les Echelles de la Ville (offices)

-Les Rives du Lez (landscape design of Lez riverbed)

-Headquarter of the Regional government of Languedoc-Roussillon
Languedoc-Roussillon
Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the 27 regions of France. It comprises five departments, and borders the other French regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne, Midi-Pyrénées on the one side, and Spain, Andorra and the Mediterranean sea on the other side.-Geography:The region is...



-Le Port Juvénal (350 apartments )

-Hotel Mercure
Mercure
Mercure may refer to:* MERCURE, an atmospheric dispersion modeling CFD code developed by Électricité de France* Mercure Hotels, a chain of hotels run by Accor* French ship Mercure * Dassault Mercure, a French airliner built in the 1970s...

(5- star hotel )

-Le Parnasse (100 apartments)

-Le Capitole (apartments and shops)

-La Tour Europe (offices)

-Les Guinguettes (2 restaurants)

-Olympic Swimming Pool of Montpellier

External links