La Maison EcoCitizen is an exhibition space devoted to eco citizenship that walks the walk as much as it talks the talk. The gallery, located in Bordeaux, France and designed by Olivier Lehmans Architecte, lives inside an old dockworkers' recruitment center that has been transformed into a shiny green gem. While the building looks modest from street level, aerial views call attention to its true colors of dark blue (solar panels) and green (a tidy planted roof).
Sitting on the edge of the Garonne riverbank on a UNESCO World heritage site, the arched exhibition and meeting center makes it its mission to inform the public about sustainable architecture, eco-friendly building, energy saving techniques and eco-citizenship. At first glance, the building’s standard stone facade and arched windows are nothing to write home about. But the nice, flat roof was the perfect palette for the architects to paint a “fifth facade” of solar panels surrounded by grasses and flowers.
Biodiversity was encouraged when choosing the greenery of the roof in order to attract different birds and insects. The plants are watered using collected rainwater. The roof’s solar panels are used to generate electricity that powers the heater and heating and ventilation procedures were designed to promote optimal thermal control throughout the year.