Malraux-Danube: a new culture and activity centre

The Malraux-Danube project lies between the Esplanade and Neudorf, along the old industrial basins and illustrates the dynamic new extension of the City towards the Rhine.

The André Malraux island

Presentation of the project

The André Malraux island is an excellent illustration of the dynamic new extension of the city towards the Rhine.

The André Malraux island lies at the heart of the Strasbourg-Kehl axis and has become a landmark for cultural life and urban activity. Publicly financed developments, such as the André Malraux media library, the Cité de la Musique et de la Danse, the development of the waterfront area, with the addition of new footbridges and the new Winston Churchill tram station have created a dynamic offering excellent development possibilities.

When the development of the island has been completed, it will provide a new connection between the eastern and western parts of the city and will help drive Strasbourg's metropolitan and European image.

The Urban Community of Strasbourg (CUS), the Société d’Aménagement et d’Equipement de la Région de Strasbourg (SERS - the city's public works and development company) and the ICADE real estate company are responsible for implementing the project, which includes a number of real estate operations, a wide-reaching cultural and economic program and the development of the basins.

Rehabilitation of the old Seegmuller warehouse will be completed by 2013 as a cultural centre featuring artist workshops, cultural associations and contemporary art galleries. International artists could be invited to take up one-off residencies in the centre.

A co-working space is also to be developed, based on the "La Cantine" coworking space created in Paris. The new space is intended to be a place for exchanging ideas and information and helping artists working in different places to come together and pool their skills and resources.

A showcase building is to be built, with the architect chosen through an international competition, the basis of which will be an urban planning strategy drawn up by Christian Devillers.

An international university residence, featuring accommodation, services and activities is to be built in the old Seegmuller silo, located between the eponymous warehouse and the André Malraux media library.

The Institut National des Études Territoriales (INET), a national Institute which trains managers for local and regional government, will move into new headquarters, at the angle of the Route du Rhin, between the UGC cinema and the ZAC Danube concerted development area.


  • July 2009 : SERS launches an invitation to tender for investors and operators
  • August 2010 : SERS buys the land within the Port Autonome
  • 17 December 2010 : ICADE is announced as the winner of the invitation to tender
  • 15 April 2011 : planning permission is requested for the warehouse
  • June 2011 : adoption of the Devillers Urban development plan.



  • The land at the tip of the island and the Helbling sector are sold to SERS


  • October 2011: an invitation to tender for the architecture of Plots A,B and C, and the Seegmuller tower is launched
  • February 2012: architects chosen for the 3 towers
  • March 2012: work starts on the warehouse.


  • January 2012 : launch of the architectural competition

Danube Project

Presentation of the project

The Danube eco-district comprises 650 housing units (including 40% of subsidised housing, 10% for first-time homebuyers and 10% for cooperative housing), covering an area of some 6 hectares, with 63,000 m² of net floor area for housing, 18,000 m² of offices, businesses and services and 4000 m² for public facilities, making a total net floor area of 85,000 m².

The Malraux project will also feature mixed buildings (housing, businesses, activities and a hotel for a total of 43,500 m²) adjoining the Danube eco-district, a student residence with 130 studios (5000 m²) and the INET headquarters (6500 m²) for a net floor area of 55,000 m².

The Malraux – Danube sector enjoys an ideal location within the cross-border Ecocity and is intended to be an innovation-led development on a European scale, following in the footsteps of the rich tradition of innovation within the City itself, both in housing and mobility (cycle tracks, tram system, social areas).

The sector is set to be a showcase for new environmental and building techniques, as well as new ways of developing and managing projects within the frame of a strong partnership between committed stakeholders.

Project Danube objectives

The Danube eco-district aims to have a minimum impact on its environment and to achieve the 4 major objectives listed below:

  • urban quality: insertion, urban form, functional and residential diversity, development of social ties
  • environmental quality: innovation-led and experimental techniques and methods
  • a wide-ranging approach to mobility: priority for pedestrians and cyclists, innovative management of parking space (0.5 place/unit, shared parking space)
  • participative project governance to include local inhabitants

The process started in 2008, through a specific consultation system comprising Project workshops and competitive dialogue in 2010, and continued through 2011 with "Devillers & associés", the winners of the invitation to tender. The Danube Eco-district urban development project was formalised through a draft Master Plan and a Preliminary Project for the development of public spaces. These were presented at the public meeting held in June 2011 and were approved in September 2011, on the basis of the master plan for the Danube concerted development area (ZAC).

One of the main aims of the eco-district is to reach out and integrate with the surrounding urban landscape, while building links with existing public facilities.

Another important aim of this former brownfield site, located between the city centre and the port, is to build on the site's identity and history. Devillers & associés have suggesting basing its identity on the waterways that surround the island, by developing areas such as the banks of the canal in the northern part of the district and by creating a port garden within the eco-district, which would both enhance the immediate landscape and also play a role in water regulation.

In addition to the objective of achieving low energy consumption, mobility is another driving force for the district, which won the "sustainable mobility" category in the "Eco-district" call for projects.

Priority is being given to soft modes of transport (cycle tracks, high-quality pedestrian environment), while the use of cars will be restricted: vehicles will be unable to drive across the district, fewer parking places will be provided (0.5 parking places per housing unit, parking spaces shared between different programs, grouped together in underground areas and accessible at entry points to the district), while car sharing will be encouraged.


After approval of the ZAC Danube master plan and alongside site development work, a call for tenders for developers was launched by SERS in autumn 2011 for the first operational phase of the project (about 400 housing units by 2015).

The first planning permissions were granted in 2012, opening the way for the completion of the first housing units by late 2013, early 2014, with the proviso of 50% of units for social housing (of which 10% for first-time homebuyers) and 10% for cooperative ownership.

Work along the banks of the bassin Dusuzeau is starting in 2012 to offer a safe area for walking and cycling.