The idea was launched in 2007 with the aim of creating “a high value-added eco-friendly space for creation”, where cultural associations and eco-innovative companies could meet.
In this collective space, the project leaders’ goal is to ensure that activities are driven by three key objectives:
- economic cooperation between the occupants of the space
- effective activation of the ecological transition of the activities
- support for social, environmental, athletic and cultural alternatives in the city
The space was identified in 2009 in a community proposal (CUB and the Bordeaux city hall): it was a one-hectare former military installation that was acquired by the Evolution group in late 2009. The latter began an environmentally-focused renovation of the site, enabling the first occupants to move in at the end of 2012.
The tenants include consulting, communication and strategic marketing firms focusing on sustainable development, research agencies working in the marine energy and phyto-purification fields, lawyers, architects, landscapers, and companies focusing on waste management, scenography, events management and new technology. There’s even a grocery-cum-restaurant, an urban farm, a bike polo field, a BMX track, and an artists’ residence!
With an open space design, the spaces facilitate the creation of synergies and the pooling of certain equipment and facilities (printers, kitchens, meeting rooms, concierge service, etc.). Frugality, proximity, kindness, openness, exemplary behaviour, enjoyment and economy are among the watchwords enshrined in the charter on high-quality use signed by the members. Around Darwin, on the recovered land, community-focused efforts are emerging that are among the elements that will contribute to the design of the town of the future, some of which will be supported by Darwin’s endowment fund.