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Project timeline

1960 – 1975



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Architect Change this


Article last edited by Bostjan on
February 09th, 2017

La Grande-Motte Change this

Occitanie, France
by Jean Balladur Change this
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Description Change this

La Grande-Motte is a commune in the Hérault département in Occitanie in southern France. It is a popular seaside resort and port, built in the 1960s and 1970s. La Grande-Motte is characterized by homogeneous architecture; many of the prominent buildings are pyramidal in form. With 2 million tourists per year it is one of the favorite resorts of the French.


The resort town of La Grande Motte was largely built between 1960 and 1975 on beachfront dunes and is artificially irrigated to create a green environment. Jean Balladur drew inspiration from pre-Columbian pyramids such as Teotihuacan in Mexico and from modernist architecture in Brazil, especially Oscar Niemeyer.

Balladur developed master plan for the seaside resort on a site of 750 hectares comprising 450 hectares of land and 300 hectares of wetland. The plan included principles for settlement with guidelines for each plot, including zones for camping, a town centre, a marina and a city park. Parking was placed no more than 600 meters away from the beach to allow visitors to walk there, but keeping all development away from the beach itself. The project incorporated large open spaces surrounding the main buildings.


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