La Grande-Motte

La Grande-Motte

La Grande-Motte is a comparatively new commune in the Hérault département in Occitanie in southern France that was built in the 60s and 70s in what used to be a marsh.

The city was planned by a single architect – Jean Balladur – who was inspired by the works of Oscar Niemeyer and pre-Columbian, Aztec pyramids. His goal was to provide a seaside resort for the emerging French middle class at the time, with buildings that would provide space and views for all of his inhabitants.

La Grande-Motte

La Grande-Motte

La Grande-Motte

Balladur’s planning was revolutionary at the time: Focusing on the needs of humans rather than cars he designed the city with walkability in mind and set aside 70% of the space for vegetation and green spaces and left only 30% for his buildings. As vegetation hadn’t grown when La Grande-Motte opened up for tourists in the late 60s, it was being ridiculed for being a concrete wasteland.

With passing time and growing vegetation, this judgement has changed drastically since then: In 2010 the city was canonized in the Patrimoine du XXe siècle.

La Grande-Motte

La Grande-Motte

La Grande-Motte

A full image set can be found on Flickr.

La Grand-Motte

Bastian Greshake Tzovaras

Bastian Greshake Tzovaras

Photographer in the streets, avid reader in the sheets.

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