In the School district, the project reorganized the urban space by connecting existing north/south roads with a new parking space. This new way slowly absorbs the slope between the street and the school site. It is the opportunity to stage the front entrance of the school on public space and make evident the presence of the new facility in the city.
The entrance to the school is positioned in the middle of the square allowing easy access for disabled children and parents with strollers. Crosses between pedestrians and vehicles are avoided whatever the mode of removal or parking, which ensures maximum safety for children.
The search for energy performance has largely dictated the design of the building and leeded us to carry out a very compact volume organized around a common central solar energy sensor. Nursery classes, on the ground floor, and elementary classes on two levels around double height media and activity rooms. We have chosen to limit solar gains on the facades of classes, in order to preserve them from overheating. Outside galleries on the Southwest and Northeast sunscreens the smaller pupils while elementary classes are protected by their Northeast and Northwestorientation.
The compact organization of the project organizes the high-volume common spaces in the heart of the building. Their Southeast and Southwest orientations allow them to capture maximum solar energy. We take advantage of intermittent operation of these spaces as well as of their high volume to withstand a stronger temperature gradient than an ordinary classroom. Inside these spaces, 30 cm thick concrete walls provide storage of excess calories and complete the inertia of the building. Calories stored in the central area will then be recovered by extracting in a double flow ventilation system or discharged outside in case of hot weather.
The arrangement of classes on two levels around the library and activity room guarantees the autonomy of the two parts of the school but leaves the choice to build bridges in teaching methods. This scheme allows high scalability and versatility of the structure, adaptable to evolutions and national education reforms.
The use of double height, transparency, atrium, sheds, skylights bring natural light and solar tracking at the heart of this great house. Circulations in a loop around the central space, offer many inside as well as landscape vues.
The excellent energy performance is mostly based on the architectural design, its compacity, and a high quality waterproof insulation made of natural materials (wood, wood wool, cellulose wadding, siding class 3).