The architecture competition for Jules Verne School was about the restructuration and extension of three building of the 1960s, and the reshaping of the public space in front of the building.
To the North, the site takes place in the heart of a district made of low rise buildings.
To the South, the school’s playground is a belvedere overhanging the landscape, the Verrière forest as a green background.
Our aim was to re-build the landscape in successive sequences in order to link gradually the public square in front of the school toward the largescale landscape in the south, sketched by the skyline of the forest.
An extension of the school built in 1992 land locked the public square. We decided to demolish it. Freed from this building, the place has a new scale, fitting better with its neighborhood.
The large green roof of the school covers the new spaces and unify the three existing buildings. The upper stories emerge over a landscape building.
At the height of man, free spaces between the buildings frame the background scenery of the forest.
The program of the competition increases by two the surfaces of the school. We organized all the new spaces in three main poles:
- At the West, the primary school
- At the East, the nursery school
- In the center, the leisure center and the school restaurant.
Moreover, the site is set on a slope of 17 meters height between the lower point at the East and the upper point at the West.
The geometry of the roof appears by unifying the three entities as a single building and by embracing the topography of the site.
We underlined the difference between the new extensions and the buildings of the 1960’s by the large floating roof that spread over the covered yards and accesses of the school. Under this vegetal blanket, the extension parts are coated by wood cladding. To protect the wooden façades and create sheltered pathways for the children all along the building, the roof overflows at least 1 meter from the façade.
The shadow of the wooden structure highlights the shore beam of the roof that follows the movement of the site.
The site is surrounded by 5 storey and more buildings. So the roof is visible from above.
We consider the roof not only as a fifth façade, but like an important element of the local landscape. All along the conception, we took care to keep it free from technical devices.
In addition to the esthetic quality, it offers different technical opportunities:
- It contributes to the slowing down of rainfall runoff on the site.
- It protects the waterproofing of the building.
- It participle to the thermal and acoustic insulation.
- Wood offers a lot opportunities, especially if we want to reach high standards for sustainable architecture and decrease the rate of carbon during the construction process.
- We choose to conceive this project in wood because it answered to several specific points to this project.
- The program foresaw only 10 month to build each edifice in an occupied site (33 months in total). The school should remain active during the construction works. By using wooden prefabricated elements, we reduced the time required to intervene on the construction site as well as the noise pollution for the pupils and the neighborhood.
- Moreover, the reconstruction of the existing buildings has brought us to remove the old curtain walls and substitute them by new one thermally more efficient. As wood is a light material, it fit well to be set on the existing structure.
The wood is visible, as well as the technical devices indoor, the vegetation on the roof, the vegetable gardens for the children, etc. All this elements emphasize the ecological features of the school and participate to the pedagogy for a sustainable behavior. As architect, we have a responsibility to be part of this teaching.
We used wood also for is domestically aspect. It is warm, reassuring, non-institutional. We try to keep constructive elements in their naturel aspect as much as possible.
Our proposition, with its smooth and flexible geometry allows future evolutions of use while preserving the ori¬ginal concept. Elle est un gage supplémentaire de la pérennité du projet.
It is an additional guarantee of the sustainability of the project.
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