CRA de Bordeaux

the CRA in Bordeaux raises the standard of reception conditions, emphasizing respect for detainees through a discreet, reassuring & welcoming building

project characteristics

The construction program for a new administrative detention center in Pessac underscores the significant challenges of an institution aiming to be more inclusive. We have chosen to prioritize the well-being of detainees at the heart of the project.

In a particularly challenging urban context, the site is divided into two parcels, bordered to the south by the highway and to the north by a residential pavilion neighborhood, currently green and wooded, serving as a buffer space with the highway.

programthe design, construction, layout & maintenance of the new Administrative Detention Center (CRA) in Bordeaux
clientMinistry of the interior. General Secretariat for the administration of the ministry of the interior - Southwest SGAMI
addressavenue du Bourgailh • 33 600 Pessac
building typelive • protect
expertisesarchitecturelandscape designinterior architecture
team• client: Ministry of the Interior/SAGMI Southwest
• general contractor: Denys France/Rollin TP
• architecte, interior architect, signage, landscape design: assar architects
• technical engineering: overdrive
• acoustics: groupe Gamba
• security: DFenco

Our objective is to project an image of a discreet, reassuring, and welcoming institutional building. An establishment embodying change with an elevation of reception conditions more respectful of the detained person. Hotel-type services will impart a character to the structure, far from prison-like codes. The reception of men, women, and families, as well as health and social support, will thus take place in improved conditions.

Discreet, as the project is barely perceptible from the outside due to its low height and its central placement within the block. Concentrating the entire program on one of the two available parcels also minimizes its impact on the neighborhood.

Reassuring, because the visible facades from the outside face offices or circulation areas for external people. Internal activities are contained within the heart of the building with quality and generous interior garden spaces, well-lit and near accommodation areas. The tranquility of the surrounding residents is preserved, and space surveillance is easy and effective.

Welcoming, thanks to a design that incorporates a landscaping project for detainees and visitors. The development of a planted square on the boulevard side marks the main entrance of the CRA, while a square on the north side highlights the institution of the judicial city. A pedestrian walkway connecting the two entrances is landscaped, bordering the residential side and restoring the porosity of the existing site. Parcel 2, completely freed from the program, is developed into a recreational public garden, incorporating children’s play areas and promoting biodiversity in the area.