- Sustainable Architecture
- Lez-in-Art by NBJ Architectes, a sustainable apartment building in Montpellier
The joint development zone (Zones d'Aménagement Concerté - ZAC) of Port Marianne-Rive Gauche in Montpellier, France focuses on sustainable urban planning suited to the Mediterranean climate. The masterplan, the placement and the shape of the buildings all centre on optimal design options that take into account the winds (mistral and north wind) and improve exposure to sunlight in the winter months.
With this bioclimatic approach, the buildings have achieved BBC certification. BBC stands for Bâtiment Basse Consommation (low consumption building) and it corresponds to the German "Passivhaus", the Swiss "Minergie" label, and the Japanese and American "Zero energy homes".
The whole project of the Port Marianne-Rive Gauche ZAC is intended to enhance the environmental features of the Mediterranean Riviera on the banks of the Lez. In addition, considerable care and attention go into controlling the soil. As far as possible, soil sealing is avoided in an attempt to respond to the major challenges of rainwater management in Mediterranean climates. This is because long periods of drought are often followed by heavy rainfall, and it is essential for the water to be able to penetrate the soil in order to avoid environmental disasters.
In addition to their Luminescence project (link), the French studio NBJ Architectes headed by Elodie Nourrigat and Jacques Brion, in Montpellier, has designed another apartment building in this zone. Lez-in-Art, constructed with the property developer, Arcade stands on the left bank of the Lez river, very close to public transport, schools and shops, and just 15 minutes from the beach. The volume itself is compact and simple.
The apartment building is formed of three elements - base, central body and attic - each one expressing its character in the way it connects with the context. The homes in the solid, stone-clad base have their own private outdoor extensions. Conversely, the central body is more open thanks to the diversified forms of the terraces that extend towards the landscape. In this case, the sunshades are standout elements: with their vertical alignment, they resemble both twisted blades and the trees in the adjacent green areas. They form a skin that uses a play of vibrating light and thickening shadows to create a combination of both thermal and architectural properties. This really eye-catching design choice is repeated for the attic, thus creating a material identity for the whole apartment building.
With Lez-in-Art, the team from NBJ Architectes prove that it is possible to create attractive and sustainable housing with certified quality. Architecture that harmoniously engages with the natural surroundings and meets the masterplan requirements aimed at proposing proactive solutions to address climate change.
Project: NBJ Architectes - https://nbj-archi.com
Locaton: Montpellier, France
Images: Paul Kozlowski - http://photoarchitecture.com/