Work to commence imminently on first phase of Nice Méridia Urban Technopolis
Last year, head architect and urban planner Christian Devillers presented his vision for the Nice Méridia urban technopolis. Construction on the first commercial development in the project is due to start imminently with delivery planned for the second quarter of 2015. Other office and housing developments have been launched and the administrative formalities are progressing, meaning that Nice Méridia is taking shape on the ground.
Technopolises tend to be located in green and peaceful settings in outlying areas where their occupants often feel isolated. The Nice Méridia concept, however, is based on the idea of a lively and dense town, stimulating creativity and facilitating interaction. The aim is to offer working and living space based on the principles of an urban and social mix.
The current project involves the construction of 320,000-360,000 sq m of mixed property developments. It includes 100,000 sq m of office space, laboratories and R&D centres. Training and higher education will also be present with around 35,000 sq m dedicated to the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis’ Eco-Campus and 18,000 sq m being used by the Regional Learning Campus developed by the Nice French Riviera Chamber of Commerce.
Nice Méridia will also offer the sort of facilities and infrastructure that make for a true neighbourhood and bring alive an urban district outside of office hours: approximately 2,100 mixed housing units and 15,000 sq m of hotels, shops and services close to sports and leisure facilities. The Nice Méridia urban technopolis should have roughly 5,000 residents and over 4,000 jobs at the end of this first development phase.
The 24 hectare project is part of an overall vision for a 200 hectare plus area and takes into account the existing environment, while having a sustainable development ethos. A special emphasis has been placed on stormwater management in the Nice Méridia design. Periods of rainfall are short on the French Riviera but can be intense.
The Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur has built a major stormwater drainage system under Avenue Simone Veil, on the edge of Nice Méridia, in order to drain away runoff from the surrounding hills. These hollow spaces can be used to hold water on a thin layer of earth before it is gradually removed either by infiltration or via the stormwater drainage system.
Christian Devillers’ team and the EPA Éco-Vallée have crafted a strategy that contributes to the life and dynamism of this new neighbourhood. While waiting for shops to move in, the premises located on the ground floor of buildings will be offered to startups, non-profits, digital innovation hubs, co-working spaces and packages of connected services such as cycling and community activities.