In Port Leucate, residents want to save Kyklos, a flagship building from the 1970s

Climb to the front

Beginning of November, the petition to save the Kyklos from destruction, a building on the seafront in Port Leucate, in Aude, has exceeded 1,000 signatures. Launched on August 18 by Brigitte Defives, a Leuven doctor, this text calls for the rehabilitation of an ensemble deemed remarkable. According to its defenders, it is both the witness of an architectural and social history, and its open and generous spaces are “More than ever in tune with our times”. They also recall that this city lacks entertainment venues, some residents going so far as to rename it “Mort Leucate”.

Emblematic building

The Kyklos was erected as part of the Racine mission, born from the desire of General de Gaulle, at the end of the 1960s, to develop the sandy coast of Languedoc-Roussillon in order to retain tourists leaving for Spain . The interministerial mission, named after its president, Pierre Racine, entrusted architect Georges Candilis with the master plan for the development of Leucate-Barcarès.

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At the center of the program, the Kyklos, built in 1970 by Paul Garcia and Maurice Zavagno. Member of the Leucate opposition and defender of the building, Marie-France Barthet remembers a “Extraordinary and friendly place” : “A curvaceous architecture, endowed with a multitude of terraces which housed discos, games room, bakery, newsagent, restaurants …”

Peril in the abode

Over the years, under the combined effect of the negligence of its owners and the spray, this reinforced concrete building has deteriorated to the point that, in 2019, a peril decree was issued for its upper floors. The businesses there were forced to close. The first defenders of Kyklos then appeared.

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Supported by the association of architects specializing in 20th century constructionse century, Docomomo France, they requested, in vain, the registration of the whole as Historical Monuments. Today, only the ground floor is still used by a few restaurants.

Middle ground

“If the Kyklos is not saved, we will propose a contemporary gesture, led by an architect of international level who would respect the principles of Candilis, namely a white architecture, a sobriety in the line, endowed with patios and imprint of a collective dimension “, indicates the LR mayor of Leucate, Michel Py.

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But “Contemporary gesture” could go through a destruction of the building. Because, on this seaside land which arouses covetousness, developers have already come forward, with the ambition to raze the building to build a housing building instead.

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In Port Leucate, residents want to save Kyklos, a flagship building from the 1970s