From a distance, you might not be able to locate the eco-friendly community arts center hidden in this landscape of mountains and wildflower meadows in the French Alps. Designed by French design firm Mas Architecture, the youth-oriented community arts center was built into the earth and covered with a lush green roof in order to preserve breathtaking views in Saint-Egrève, France. The colorfully striped building was constructed with locally sourced materials and was built to meet France’s Batiment basse consommation (BBC) energy efficiency standards.
Flanked by the mountains l’Aiguille de Quaix and the col de la Charmette, the community arts center was designed to maximize views of the surroundings while remaining discreetly positioned so as not to interrupt existing sight lines. The undulating structure was thus given two different facades: the first, which faces the street, cuts into the earth to blend almost seamlessly into the grassy landscape, whereas the second, bolder facade clad in Nordic pine rises from the ground and is covered in a colorful striations. Rectangular windows of varying sizes are placed seemingly at random to give the building a playful character.
The C-shaped building comprises two wings—one for work and the other for recreational purposes—joined by a centrally located multipurpose reception hall that opens out to an outdoor courtyard. The intensive green roof is covered with vegetation that reaches a depth of nearly 10 feet. Rainwater is filtered and collected onsite and recycled for use in the bathrooms. The building is constructed from locally sourced concrete and the indoor air is treated with a balanced ventilation system.
Images via Mas Architecture