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Modern Green Housing Rejuvenates French Docks

The Grand Large District in Dunkirk, France, aims to pump new life into a dockside neighborhood.

Modern Green Housing Rejuvenates French Docks

You know your green building project has achieved something special when a blogger mistakes a photograph of it for a computer rendering. That’s exactly what happened with the immaculate image above, showing The Grand Large District in Dunkirk, France. The sustainably developed dockside neighborhood, designed by architects Nicolas Michelin, Michel Delplace, and Cyril Trétout, is the second phase of a successful urban renewal project launched in 1991.

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all images © Stéphane Chalmeau

According to ArchDaily, The Grand Large District as shown contains 216 residential dwellings, with plans to expand to more than 800. The architects’ eco-aware designs continue a push to rejuvenate the docks and quayside area of Dunkirk with stylish, pedestrian-friendly residences, planted terraces and U-shaped gardens. Motor traffic is limited to certain access roads, and the houses have angled surfaces to protect against wind and efficiently manage rainwater runoff.

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Meanwhile, the buildings themselves are encased in a double skin, which allows air to circulate in an buffer layer between the facade and walls, passively cooling and insulating the residences. Plus, they’re just beautiful. ArchDaily quotes the architects, crowing about how “the district conjugates different types of building and proposes public spaces on a diversity of scales.” I have no fricking clue what that’s supposed to mean, but I do know I want to go to there.

[See more pics at Arch Daily]

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About the author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, BBC Future, and other outlets

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