The new 18,000 m2 MÉCA Cultural Center, creates a frame for the celebration of contemporary art, film, and performances. MÉCA, brings together three regional arts agencies – FRAC for contemporary art, ALCA for cinema, literature, and audiovisuals, and OARA for performing arts – into a loop. A series of steps and ramps lead the public directly into the 1,100 m2 outdoor urban room at the core of MÉCA. A permanent bronze sculpture depicting a half-head of Hermes by French artist Benoît Maire invites visitors to reflect on the contemporary culture of the region.
MÉCA’s façade is composed almost entirely of 4,800 prefabricated concrete panels interspersed with windows of various sizes to control the amount of light entering inside and to create a sense of transparency. The concrete slabs, which weigh up to 1.6 tons, are sandblasted to expose its raw qualities and to texture the surface with the local sandstone of Bordeaux.
Upon entering MÉCA from the ground floor, visitors arrive at the lobby where they can relax in the spiral pit or dine at the restaurant Le CREM, furnished with red furniture and cork chairs designed by BIG in reference to the city known for wine. On the same ground floor, those with tickets can enjoy performances in OARA’s 250-seat theatre. Upstairs, filmgoers can view screenings at ALCA’s red-accented 80-seat cinema or visit the two production offices and project incubation area. FRAC occupies the upper floors with 7m high exhibition spaces, production studios for artists, storage facilities, 90-seat auditorium and café.