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The 19th century stable yard

The 19th century stable yard
NTPL Zoë Colbeck

Friday, 26 October 2012

Living it green in Lille

Every 6 months all the European partners in the Livinggreen Project get together in one of our cities to plan the next stage of the project and sometimes hold a public event. This week it was time to go to Lille, in northern France.

The main square in Lille, with its 17th century buildings (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

The day before our meeting we held a public event in Lille City Hall on the topic of 'Eco-renovation and the architectural value of housing - constraints or opportunities?'. The day was well attended by local property developers, architects, engineers, landlords, home owners etc.

The public event in the City Hall (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

The day included a visit to one of four sites nearby, to see eco-renovation in progress in different types of building. I visited a small courtyard, hidden away off the street, where lots of small terraced houses are being renovated. I particularly liked the 'Metisse' insulation, made from recycled denim jeans by a local social enterprise.

The small courtyard with houses on both sides (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

The blue 'Metisse' insulation made from recycled jeans (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

Our partner meeting itself included a visit to the French building in our Livinggreen project - an inner city warehouse from the end of the 19th century. This is being renovated into a centre of sustainable housing, which will offer advice and information on various aspects of sustainable living, in a similar way to our Livinggreen Exhibition here in Morden. It will open in 2013.

The Livinggreen warehouse (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

And as seems to happen on these visits, I found myself using my few hours of spare time to visit a renovated building - this time an amazing museum in an old art deco swimming pool - the Museum of Art and Industry in Roubaix. Well worth a visit if you're ever in Lille (after the sustainable housing centre, once it's open!).

 The Museum of Art and Industry, Lille (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)


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