The recently completed Zero Energy School in Saint-Ouen, France is a beacon of sustainability. Designed by Paris-based Mikou Studio, the Docks school boasts a large solar canopy and a host of green building strategies that make it almost completely self-sustaining.The Docks school is located in the middle of an urban complex-a strategically chosen site that optimises the configuration of the surroundings in order to facilitate energy efficiency and the building’s overall performance.

The building has stepped tiers toward the east side, near the main street. It is extended by large canopies that fold in crosswise strips in order to face the south side. These, in turn, are separated by internal gardens that run along the east-west axis and offer views from the transparent sides of the building.

Internal gardens provide spaces with greenery and enable natural light to penetrate the spaces and create optimal learning conditions. A series of gardens and day lit terraces gradually descend toward the north part and let in maximum amounts of sunshine.