Global architecture and urban design firm Woods Bagot has won the open international tender for a ‘long-term vision’ for the City of Noumea, capital of New Caledonia. The Strategic Masterplan for Noumea 2025 will see the regeneration of the city’s waterfront and promotion of local ‘culture and ambition’ in an effort to market the capital to a global audience.
Noumea has a long history in the mining of nickel and gold and acted as the US military headquarters in the South Pacific during World War II. Regularly dubbed ‘The Paris of the Pacific’, the capital now boasts designer boutiques and fine French restaurants, and is a hotspot for visitors both foreign and domestic.
Woods Bagot triumphed over stiff competitors Jean-Marie Charpentier, Philippe Madek and Studio 09 with a comprehensive approach, intending to work in close correlation with the people of Noumea in order to establish a successful and appropriate design scheme. Director at the practice, David Tregoning, explains: “Through the development of a strong and clear methodology, inherent to our approach was to offer the City of Noumea a partner to work with, to enable the client to deliver on their vision - rather than delivering a predetermined, concrete solution.”
The masterplan will be delivered over a period of six months during which time Woods Bagot will work with local architect Atelier DPJ under the management of government authorities (SODEMO), the City of Noumea and the ‘Port Autonome’. “This project will help guide urban development for New Caledonia for many decades to come. These kinds of projects have the capacity to shape the vision of cities and it takes a bold commitment from the government and people of Noumea.
“Waterfront projects have a special kind of power to create excitement, shape impressions and attract development and tourism interest. As designers we are thrilled to help bring their vision and aspirations into a new built reality,” adds Richard Marshall, Joint Group Managing Director, Woods Bagot.