The Biotope is located on the eastern edge of central Lille, a northern French city closely connected with Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK – major rail and roadways leading in and out of Lille directly abut the site. Nestled between the Grand Palais convention center and the Regional Council for the Hauts-de-France region, the Biotope is a prominent addition to the bustling corridor. The site links up with a ring of parks and gardens that runs around the city. Lush plantings travel up, over, and within the Biotope as a natural extension of this Green Ring.
The design for the Biotope is guided by the belief that nature is an essential ingredient for healthy workplaces – and for healthy, sustainable environments themselves. The 5,500m2 self-sufficient green roof – which includes 14 species of trees, 20 shrub species, and over 30 types of perennials – contributes to local biodiversity, the filtration of CO2, and the reduction of urban noise. Large glass facades link interior office spaces seamlessly with these open-air balconies, terraces, and green wall populating the building’s exterior.
In addition to the six terraced gardens crowning the building, the top technical floor is covered by a biodiverse garden inaccessible to workers. Here, local plant and wildlife can flourish without any human intervention.
Originally conceived as Lille’s bid for the European Medicines Agency, the Biotope has had from its inception a focus on health and wellness. Now as the new home for the municipal offices of the Metropole Européenne de Lille, the building continues this original intention. Completed during the city’s reign as World Design Capital, Biotope showcases ambitious civic architecture in a timely remake of the office typology.