Planet Home Season 1

  • Architecture, Sustainability, Home
  • 2016

Pollution, climate change, while some predict the apocalypse, others are building the future. They are the heroes of Planet Home, and they already have solutions for housing in the future. In Planet Home, our adventures are grounded on the architecture and the exemplary nature of the sites we discover. Beyond just buildings, these places house people who are just as inspiring in matters of sustainable development.

Our hosts tell us about their homes as well as their lifestyles. We enter inside their daily life and home, and also meet those outside who share their philosophy. Whether we are highlighting the technological excellence of a location, an architect’s crazy ideas, or a family’s new lifestyle, Planet Home is the only documentary series, which offers a map of ecological and sustainable habitats throughout the world.


Tree Hotel

The Lindvall’s bring their Swedish village back to life by creating a surprising hotel project: a hut in the wood, high on a tree.

The Halle Pajol

Welcome to the 18th arrondissement of Paris, where the Halle Pajol, a former rail freight station, has undergone a thorough ecological facelift. Abandoned for a while, the building now stands for exemplary renovations; it has also brought the Chapelle neighbourhood, one of the liveliest district in north-east Paris, back to life.

Wilhelmsburg neighbourhood

In Wilhelmsburg, a district in Hamburg, 70 international teams of architects and manufacturers have responded to public tenders on the ecological habitat of the 21st century. These habitat specialists, supervised by the IBA, have thus conceived 180 new apartments in 17 buildings on a 30-hectare construction area. But how can we go from innovative and exemplary ideas to realistic houses where around 500 people currently live and which stand as examples for many countries?


When deciding on where to settle, houses or apartments are far from being the only criteria: lifestyle truly matters. Throughout the world, new communities grow and their aim is rather clear: cultivating social connections and a sense of happy living amongst the people while respecting the surrounding nature. UniverCity’s promise: building a city in the heart of nature.

A Leed house in Montreal

Benoit Lavigueur heads a construction company based in Canada. He has not only built an exemplary house in many different domains, but also teaches families basic knowledge in order to take the leap and make relevant choices for their ecological house. He therefore proves that eco-construction is accessible to all, and not just to an elite or to tech-savvies.


In northern France, right in the heart of a mining region, Loos-en-Gohelle is a true oddity. If this small town of 7,000 inhabitants proudly shows the remains of its past and yet painful industry, it has also started a thorough green revolution to become a model of sustainable development.

The green mayor Jean-François Caron has been carrying this ambitious project for nearly 20 years, and is convinced that he is laying the foundations of a new model.

Passive houses

Rethinking a so-called sensitive neighbourhood’s photography by integrating new houses that meet ecological norms, together with the will to promote social diversity, is what many towns publicly aim for. In Le Havre, France, the urban renovation programme has thoroughly changed the Henri-Dunant neighbourhood with a new hamlet made of individual wooden houses. Heading this project, a pioneer of eco-responsible town planning: Philippe Madec.

The Darwin project

Renovating instead of demolishing: this sustainable approach seems logical, but it is still far from being obvious. Everywhere in France, abandoned urban wastelands could be demolished in favour of new constructions which aren’t always necessary. In the Bastide neighbourhood in Bordeaux, abandoned buildings have been brought back to former glory. Now refurbished, they stand as an example of green renovation.

Lapa Rios

In the heart of Costa Rica, paradise exists: the Lapa Rios. Two Americans head this adventure that started in the 1990s: Karen Lewis and her husband left the US and invested all of their savings in a single dream: building 17 bungalows in complete harmony with their surroundings while respecting traditions and working together with the locals.

A container house

In Costa Rica, in the western suburbs of the capital San Jose, the residential neighbourhood of Escazú hides a surprising form of architecture: a large house of 340 square metres entirely made of old naval containers. A dream come true for professional photographer Sergio Pucci, who asked his architect sister-in-law to create a contemporary, trendy and ecological living space.

The great lakes' huts

Amongst all eco-responsible stays, holidays out in nature certainly are the ones that families unanimously agree on. Whether on water or higher up in the trees, eco-manufacturers know no limits to offer both original and sustainable holidays.

The Brando Hotel

Holidaying on a desert island is the dream of many tourists looking for relaxing stays and beautiful landscapes. In French Polynesia, where the island of Tetiaroa moves visitors with its beauty as well as its history. Marlon Brando launched a hotel that is both luxurious and exemplary.

Isle of Skye

Leaving an urban life to settle in the countryside… Where Mother Nature rules, far from everybody, almost isolated… Many people dream of this, but few take the plunge. It is this challenge that appealed to Nick Middleton and his wife Kate when they decided to leave the centre of England to move to the sought-after isle of Skye, north west of Scotland; they were concerned about building a modern habitat that would be respectful of the environment.

The Atlas Kasbah

Only a few kilometres away, in a Berber village, in the heart of the UNESCO-protected biosphere nature reserve of Arganeraie, lays an exemplary guest accommodation concept.

Hassan and Hélène Aboutayeb wanted to develop the idea of sustainable tourism on a human scale. In 2006, they launched this green guesthouse, the Atlas Kasbah, which stands out with its architecture that is nothing short of an ancient fortress.


Whilst it becomes harder and harder to find accommodation in a growing individualistic society, new housing solutions are emerging around strong values such as sharing and togetherness. In these community housing projects, people are involved in the making of their building, thus creating sustainable and accessible living spaces. The eco part of the project can be seen in the energy performances of the building as well as in the creation of common spaces and social connections. In Switzerland, this movement is growing bigger and bigger.

25 Verde

Integrating as much greenery as possible in the heart of urban spaces: it has become a priority for some of the world’s biggest cities which are now confronted with excessive urbanisation. In Turin, in northern Italy, where it took 5 years to build the imposing “25 Verde”, a residential building comprising of 63 apartments mixing architecture and nature. Creating a green oasis in the middle of the city… Luciano Pia, the architect who worked on the project, successfully met this incredible challenge.

Ion hotel

Using natural resources to create an environmentally friendly tourism project… It seems tempting, but very few destinations around the globe can claim to make this possible. With its untouched nature and great wilderness, Iceland is one the world’s greenest countries.

Amongst the country’s jewels, Thingvellir, a UNESCO world Heritage national park, stands out as a natural jewel. It is in this preserved location, less than an hour’s drive from the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, that Sigurlaug Sverrisdottir, a former air hostess, invested all her savings to build a luxurious eco-responsible hotel.

Maison Canopée

In Les Yvelines is the historical village of Montfort L’Amaury, home to one of the greenest houses in Ile de France. Emmanuel Coste, architect, built a bioclimatic and passive house called the maison Canopée for him and his family.

Green School

It is in Bali, Indonesia, is a rather original school, called Green School, its architecture as well as its openness on major environmental issues are tremendously thought-provoking. The initiative is new: building a school out of bamboo in the heart of the jungle, where the severity of traditional teachings is combined with an ecological awareness.

Dutch Mountain

In a small town called Huizen, 20 kilometres away from Amsterdam in the Netherlands, to discover a camouflage house. Sanna, Lucas and their two children have taken over the place 3 years ago. The result is as good as they expected: modern, and beautifully integrated in the forest.