The luxury of 5* stars and the carpets as red as the rocks of the Estérel massif. Gold-colored inserts in a carmine granite, this is the project that the town hall of Cannes presented this Friday to “reinvent the legend” of the Croisette. Known throughout the world, postcard of the city and its film festival, the boulevard, which had not benefited from “any structuring operation since the 1960s” according to the town hall, will be entitled to a total facelift for a budget of around 160 million euros. Which will complete a total envelope of around 1 billion euros, also injected by private actors for the renovation of hotels and Palm Beach, to the east.
“La Croisette holds the record for the number of luxury brands, ahead of Avenue Montaigne in Paris and 5th Avenue in New York, it is a place for telegenics and events” but paradoxically “it was no longer at the level” , underlined the mayor LR David Lisnard.
To bring up to date the 2.6 km that run from the Palais des Festivals, to the west, to Palm Beach, a duo was chosen in the face of 31 other applications received as part of an international competition launched by the town hall. The Atelier d’urbanité Roland Castro and the architectural firm Snøhetta, which notably designed the entrance to the 9/11 Memorial in New York or the new headquarters of the Le Monde group in Paris, will be working to renovate the all of the roads and street furniture over 170,000 m2.
A “theatre of the sea” with a view of the Estérel
The existing distribution will be kept with a bilateral cycle path on the southern roadway, “which will always be used for logistics during the events”, specifies the mayor of Cannes. But the gray of the bitumen will give way to a red coating, paved on the pedestrian path where the signage but also the name of the big hotels and the logo of the city, the famous palm, will be encrusted in brass. So gold color.
The selected duo claims to have worked on “a sober and elegant project which aims to sublimate the Croisette and make it suitable for everyone”, explains Gérald Heulluy, president of the Roland Castro Urbanity Workshop. “Signature” benches, a sort of sleek concrete waves (but still underlined with golden details) are also planned, as well as shade structures, which will complement the vegetation that the project presents as even richer. A “theatre of the sea” is on the Zamenhof beach program with the promise of a spectacular daily sunset over the Estérel mountains.
A thalassothermy network to save money
Scheduled to last until 2026, these works come after the widening of the sandbank along the boulevard and the total repair of the private beach concessions. And they will be staggered after a new phase of renovation of the underground networks, which will in particular call on a microtunnelling machine. “A costly but necessary operation”, according to the community, to dig the new drainage pipes of the boulevard, where the discharges of several municipalities converge, up to 12 m deep.
A thalassothermal component is also planned to supply the buildings on the Croisette with heat and cold, from energy drawn from the sea. The production plant, which should make it possible to lower bills, will be deployed by 2025-2026.