The project AZALA, delivered in June 2015 in association with the architecture agency Philippe Pastre, takes place on a site of 1900 m² in Biarritz, France.
Encircled by roads, the site adopts a very particular form of a drop of water, in result of the urban layout surrounding it. Located on the edge of an intercommunal highway, strategically positioned at a crossroads, it constitutes a true entrance of the city, leading to the future Joint Development Area of Kleber in Biarritz.

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Project name: Azala
Architect’ Firm: GARDERA-D Architecture / Atelier PHILIPPE PASTRE
Contact e-mail:
Project location: Biarritz, France
Completion Year: 2015
Gross Built Area (square meters or square foot): 1900 m²
Photo credits: Mathieu Choiselat
Photographer’s website:

Other participants:

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Project Owner: SCI Azala
Project manager: Stéphane Bauche
Technical studies structure: Cobet
Technical studies road and networks: Quentin Gross
Technical studies high environmental quality: Climelec
Technical studies façade: RFR
Acoustics: Point d’Orgue
Economist: Betiko
Landscaper: Cyrille Marlin


RT 2012

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The project brings all together, in a semi-buried 52-seat car park, several entities with a tertiary vocation:

– A notarial study

– An accounting firm and a dentist’s office

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– A medical consultation and a public spa.

AZALA By GARDERA-D - Sheet4The shape of the building is a reflection of its environment, the polygonal building does not have a «frontal» facade, but a chain of façades forming a cocoon in response of the aggression of the roads surrounding the site.

A fishnet skin envelops the entire building. This mesh unifies and protects the building and gives it a striking presence day and night. It also offers the functions of venetian blind and breeze view.

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AZALA By GARDERA-D - Sheet9Indoors, specific atmospheres, in harmony with the uses, have been developed while maintaining the will of unity of the whole architectural project.

On the outside, the proposal is to make a singular landscape, a global atmosphere of the site, which is adapted to the strong and rather sculptural presence of the building.

AZALA By GARDERA-D - Sheet10The meaning of the project lies in the different means used to deform the typical surrounding landscape, tending towards a more poetic, a more singular dimension, in relation with the architectural project and the characteristics of each of the external spaces around it.

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GARDERA-D is a multi-disciplinary architectural firm.

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After achieving more than ten years of professional experience working with word acclaimed architecture firms (Diller+Scofidio in New York, Jakob+Macfarlane in Paris), Patrice Gardera creates his own company “GARDERA-D” in 2007.

Originally based in Paris, the firm is quickly joined in 2009 by an antenna in south-west of France (Biarritz), in order to optimize the management of the growing presence of projects in this area from where Patrice Gardera is originated.

Today, international projects are also starting to develop, amongst them an hotel complex in Bali, Indonesia in partnership with Philippe Starck, or private luxury villas in Mauritius Island.

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The company explores a wide field of investigation, and answers a varied range of projects, from architecture (private or public housing, offices, educational buildings, cultural equipments…) to inside decoration or design of objects and furniture

In order to do so, the office is backed up by a network of independent specialists: technical engineers, environmental scientists and specialists, landscape designers, acousticians, set designers… with whom Patrice Gardera has developed an effective relationship after years of sharing mutual working experiences.

Each project is studied and developed with a high degree of specificity, with an overall approach oriented toward a particular attention drawn to the building “quality of use” and the search of an optimum in the relationship between site and architecture.

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Each of the projects developed in the office are moved by a voluntary “common sense” approach to the notion of “environmental quality”, the good knowledge of local geographical constraints, the comprehension and assimilation of current materials and construction techniques.


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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022