6 amazing eco-friendly museums not to miss!

A list of museums that incorporated the different concepts of sustainability

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By Max Bender

eco-friendly museums

In the last decades, the rise of museums and cultural institutions that incorporated the different concepts of sustainability has been a truly amazing and promising worldwide trend.

Here is a can’t miss list of green museums (or eco-friendly museums or whatever you prefer to name them) around the world. Enjoy!

Quai Branly Museum in Paris, France

The Quai Branly Museum is located not far from the Eiffel Tower, the most iconic symbol of Paris. It features a breathtaking 800-square-metre vegetation wall.

Conceived by Patrick Blanc, this vertical garden consists of over 15,000 plants from Japan, China, Central Europe and the United States. A true example of biodiversity!

eco-friendly museums
Quai Branly Museum in Paris, France.

Ningbo History Museum, Ningbo, China

Opened in 2008 and situated in the bustling city of Ningbo, one of China’s most ancient cities, Wang Shu’s Ningbo History Museum is made out of rubble! Yes, the museum was built by local artisans entirely out of rubble. This was an impressive statement to preserve and cherish traditional construction techniques.

Wang Shu, the first Chinese citizen to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, has conceived this space as a monument not just to history, but also to sustainability, and the result is truly amazing.

eco-friendly museums
Ningbo History Museum: the outer wall is made of old tiles, recycled stone and bricks.

MUSE, Museum of Science, Trento, Italy

This marvel conceived by Renzo Piano has been inaugurated in 2013. It is not just a sustainable building, but also a powerful means to revitalize a depressed area of this city, that formerly hosted a tyre production factory. Will this museum succeed in its grand plans to revive this area? We hope so!

The area is connected to downtown Trento by the riverside, so the aim of the intervention is also to give the city back its water course, redeveloping the area between the old town and the river.

The MUSE’s commitment to sustainability is exemplified by its system of automated control that allows the building to manage its use of heating and water in an efficient and cost-effective way. Renewable energy sources (geothermal and solar energy) are used provide the museums electricity.

eco-friendly museums
MUSE, Museum of Science, Trento, Italy.

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California

Here we go again with Renzo Piano. Probably the most eco-friendly museum worldwide, the California Academy of Sciences is the largest public LEED Platinum-rated building in the world.

Thanks to its environmentally-friendly design, the Museum was also awarded the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Award for Excellence for the Americas region in 2008.

eco-friendly museums
Aerial view of the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.

Staedel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany

One of the leading art museums in Germany, the Staedel Museum celebrated its reopening in 2012 after 3 years of restructuring. The work was entrusted to the architects Schneider + Schumacher, who managed to convert 3.000 square meters of underground space, without altering the existing structure.

The new area created was covered by a beautiful roof garden with 195 circular skylights that allow sunlight to filter into the basement. The green carpet itself looks like a beautiful artistic installation.
Definitely a place to visit the next time you have the chance take a stroll along the banks of the Main.

Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, Canada

The new entrance and Visitor Centre at Van Dusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, inaugurated in 2011, is another environmentally-friendly building that caught our attention.

A LEED platinum standard building, the new Visitor Centre meets virtually every possible requirement of sustainability. The lovely orchid-inspired design and the fantastic green roof are making this building one of the most iconic symbols of Vancouver.

eco-friendly museums
Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, Canada.

And you? Which other museums do you think should be in the can’t miss list?

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