Totally eco – the Ginko Eco-District in Bordeaux

Totally eco – the Ginko Eco-District in Bordeaux

Ginko Eco-Neighbourhood Housing

In the north of Bordeaux, Bouygues Immobilier is planning an entire eco-district at the “Bank of the Lake” (“Berge du Lac”).

A part of the quarter, the Saint-Exupéry block, has already been realized in 2012 by the architects Nicolas Laisné and Christophe Rousselle.

What are we doing to our earth: pollution, exploitation of natural resources, global warming etc. The list of environmental sins is long, and nearly nobody innocent. Hence, who would not love to relieve his “green” conscience? In Bordeaux, you get the opportunity to do so, since, by now, the Ginko Eco-District is emerging there, directly at the lake (“Le Lac”). A part of the district, the Saint-Exupéry block, has already been realized last year.

Black Penrose Stairs and jutting wooden Boxes

The Saint-Exupéry block consists of four apartment buildings and seven single-family houses. The buildings enclose a large garden that opens onto public areas. Three of the apartment buildings are situated at the east side of the block, along the tram line. What visually highlights the seven to eight-storied buildings is their black façade and an unconventional balcony construction. The latter consists of the balconies themselves and a privacy shield or sun protection, which connects the balconies with each other. The result of this connection is an area on every level that juts out around the building. This area does not end parallel to the building, but runs in obtuse angles sometimes closer, sometimes further away. Thus, from the worm's-eye view at a short distance, the construction optically reminds of Penrose stairs. The three buildings with their trapezoidal floor plan are oriented in such a way, that they enable a view of the lake.

The seven single-family houses and the fourth apartment building are located at the west side of the block. They are almost cuboidal and have a wooden façade. At the ground floor, they are all connected by a large garage, covered from above by the houses and planted terraces between them. Five of the single-family houses and the apartment building of the same design partly jut out from the garage, and thus, from the property. All those “wooden boxes” are oriented towards the green terraces.


90 percent of the apartments of the district have an annual consumption of only 45 kWh/m² primary energy. Hot water is produced mostly by solar thermal energy i.e. solar collectors. The rest of the heat derives from a biomass power plant by Cofely, which already supplies the demand for thermal heat of the entire district since summer 2012, 80% by wood and 20% by  plant biomass. The required resources are provided by the local industry. Photovoltaic modules produce electricity, and thus, reduce the overhead expanses of the facilities. Rainwater is collected at the public and housing areas and then used for the irrigation of the green areas, for whose planting only plants with a low water demand have been chosen.


Obviously, in Bordeaux, there are not only delicious red and white wines, but also, by now, a marvellous green district, which may take away the weight of environmental sins from our shoulders. At the Saint-Exupéry block, one can – if something is still available – choose between a wide view from supposed Penrose stairs and wooden boxes, which are rather focussed on the green block itself.

Project details


Nicolas Laisné und Christophe Rousselle


already completed.


Size: 81.000 qm


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abdulmajidno1's picture
abdulmajidno1 25. May 2015 - 12:26

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modhuleenab's picture
modhuleenab 27. June 2015 - 11:41

These buildings look absolutely magnificent here and these have been designed with perfection. However, now many interesting housing solutions are available such as the beautiful communities developed by Vistancia Homes, if you visit their website then you can get more info here.