“Ecole des Quatre Vents” School Complex
The new school complex is located on a narrow, trapezoidal plot of land bordered by Avenue Gabriel Péri on one side and a recent housing development on the other. The program also partially resides underneath a retirement home along Avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny.
The narrowness of the plot and its situation forced us to propose a geometrical shape that is implanted to the buildable limits and deploys on 5 levels. Benefiting from a strong topography, the nursery school spreads over the upper and lower ground floors and around its playground and the cafeteria. The primary school is located on the first and second floors, and its outside terrace courtyard is on the 4th floor.
Any public facility must play a role as a reference and urban marker, so the search for a strong identity through the choice of a contemporary architectural style became a fundamental goal for the project. The facades are composed of a concrete base with metal inserts that are inspired by the theme of Matisse’s cut-out papers and a central body marked by wide strips of aluminum in a monochrome of beige, white, ivory and light bronze. Some of them repeat the ornamental motif of the base. Large frames with wide beveled edges in lacquered fiberglass surround the bay windows that light up the classrooms. The horizontality of these openings breaks up the dominant striped, vertical composition.
Placed on a strategic urban corner, the main entrance benefited from a specific treatment. The entrance hall is marked by volumetric shifts and a monumental bay window that, by its transparency, highlights its double height and interior depth.