After an intensive two-year construction process, work has finished on the Lille Biotope – just in time for Lille to celebrate its 2020 World Design Capital title. Located on the eastern edge of the northern French city, the Biotope transforms the typical office program into a unique, circular environment that supports people, animals, and local nature alike. The site is located between the Grand Palais convention center and the Regional Council for the Hauts-de-France region.
Originally conceived as Lille’s entry in the bid for the new European Medicines Agency headquarters, the building’s structure provides the physicial infrastructure for wellness. Maximum access to daylight, fresh air, and green areas were central to the concept of ‘breathing nature’, where organic form would encourage connection to nature.
“The site of this project is part of a ring of parks, forests, and gardens around the city center, so our main focus was to make the building a continuation of this green belt,” explains Henning Larsen landscape architect Clara Stewart.
The 30,000m2, seven-story building includes in addition to offices, a 300-seat auditorium, numerous meeting areas, as well as additional work and relaxation areas. Biotope will be the new site for local government offices; move in will begin at the start of 2020 and is expected to be completed by May 2020.