Living in Alsace in the 21st-century

Each year, the Écomusée d’Alsace offers innovatory new facilities and attractions, designed to showcase the Alsatian heritage. In 2015, work began on a special new area devoted to the houses and lifestyles of tomorrow.

As part of its development project for 2014 – 2018, the Écomusée d’Alsace will be taking part in the thinking around the new issues and challenges facing us in the 21st-century. The aim of the “new era” project, located on the outskirts of the village and due to be completed by 2018, is to create a number of areas dedicated to the future.

By experiencing the past, visitors to the Écomusée d’Alsace will gain a better understanding of the present, so that they can develop and build the future.

Main features of the Écomusée d’Alsace development project

The Alsatian house of the 21st-century

The first Alsatian house of the 21st-century, designed by architect Mathieu Winter, is one of the main structuring elements of the village which have been installed since 2014. The aim is to keep to the spirit of the traditional Alsatian house, without denying the past, while boldly factoring in the challenges of the 21st-century.

The house was built on ergonomic, economic and ecological principles, using natural local materials with a low carbon footprint.

In 2015, the area saw the rollout of a number of participatory-projects, which the public were invited to take part in. The aim was to give local inhabitants strong encouragement to play a role in the museum’s development and projects. Some 60 visitors lent a hand building straw walls, which they then covered with clay and lime plaster.

A bridge to the future

The construction, in 2015, of the first Alsatian house of the 21st-century was followed by two other projects:

  • a manually-operated ferry on the stretch of water behind the train station,
  • a footbridge for crossing over the headrace canal to the Rotonde, which has been refurbished as a cultural mediation centre.

These highly original and innovation-led projects were carried out in partnership with ForMaRev (a collective of 3 Strasbourg architecture students), ETC (a collective of professional architects) and some 20 regular contributors. They symbolise the ambitious direction the museum has taken to meet its societal responsibility.

The new area has also been designed for relaxation and picnicking and will be used for organising new themes, events and activities, such as fashion shows.

Continuity of the museum development project

These new features are central parts of the future new Living in Alsace in the 21st-century section, which will be celebrated by a festival of architecture, the first edition of which will be prepared for in 2016 and held during the 2017 season.

Find out more about the Écomusée d’Alsace Festival of architecture

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