Rock, by Nouvel

Jean Nouvel Ateliers - Harbor of Vigo (Copyright JNA)
Jean Nouvel - Port of Vigo, Spain (Copyright Jean Nouvel Ateliers)

This week it was announced that Jean Nouvel Ateliers have won the competition for the restructuring of the port of Vigo, a small city near the coast in the west of Spain. And the Paris-office of Nouvel has allowed Eikongraphia to publish the images.

The design is mainly an urban plan, but here hat has to be mentioned here is the remarkable object at the end of the pier. It’s a rock!

The architects write (in French, but here translated): “At the end, a monolith marks the end of the pier which seems part of it. Its altitude is close to that of the Aguia Mountain and the high points of the relief of the town of Vigo, acting by its membership to the local geography.” A monolith made of material that makes up the city and its surrounding landscape: granite.

It’s context, context, context, context. And it is beautiful.

The granite peaks of the Towers of Paine in Chile (Photograph: Wikipedia)
Granite, The Towers of Paine, Chile (Photograph: Wikipedia)

In fact, the whole pier is made up from granite, making the tower part of the ground, a man-made volcano if we stretch it. An inhabitable mountain. And as granite is highly popular by climbers, maybe even the next location of the next European climbing competition?

The ‘rock’ is programmed with a hotel, and a restaurant in its top. The atrium inside has a form that also has to recall the idea of the monolith.

Jean Nouvel Ateliers - Harbor of Vigo (Copyright JNA)
Jean Nouvel - Port of Vigo, Spain (Copyright Jean Nouvel Ateliers) 

Another nice feature of the design is the ‘water garden’. It looks a bit like a crater left by a bomb, but on closer look might just work great. The differentiated levels of the pier here are supposed to move with the changing water level of the lake, echoing the natural erosion of its surrounding landscape. But imagine to chill out there!

Jean Nouvel Ateliers - Harbor of Vigo (Copyright JNA)
Jean Nouvel - Port of Vigo, Spain (Copyright Jean Nouvel Ateliers)

Jean Nouvel Ateliers - Port of Vigo (Copyright JNA)
Jean Nouvel - Port of Vigo, Spain (Copyright Jean Nouvel Ateliers)

Jean Nouvel Ateliers - Harbor of Vigo (Copyright JNA)
Jean Nouvel - Port of Vigo, Spain (Copyright Jean Nouvel Ateliers)

Jean Nouvel Ateliers - Harbor of Vigo (Copyright JNA)
Jean Nouvel - Port of Vigo, Spain (Copyright Jean Nouvel Ateliers)

Jean Nouvel Ateliers - Harbor of Vigo (Copyright JNA)
Jean Nouvel - Port of Vigo, Spain (Copyright Jean Nouvel Ateliers)

Related Jean Nouvel: Vienna 3: Shopping, Leaves, by Nouvel, Penis, by Nouvel

Related iconographies: Boulder, by Alsop, Boulder, by EEA

The project is added to the Architects and Representation pages.


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