The project transforms a section of the school into a multifaceted, innovative structure with low environmental impact
A functional and spatial renovation involving just one of the independent buildings of the Frédéric Joliot-Curie High School in Dammarie-les-Lys, a commune in the district of la Seine et Marne, has transformed the entire school into an attractive, innovative, and dynamic hub. The work of ateliers os architectes, the main aim of the project was to upgrade the entire Building C, which no longer complied with French energy and accessibility legislation, transforming it into an innovative, efficient structure with low environmental impact.
Built in 1965, the school occupies nearly 12 acres (5 h) of grounds, providing students close contact with nature. Building C is located between the staff car park (to the north), woods (to the south), and two classroom buildings (to the east and west). At ground level, it has sections of the canteen (preparation, dining, and dishwashing areas, and cold rooms) as well as some classrooms. Staff rooms, storage areas, and other rooms are at basement level.
Besides the renovation of the entire building, which can now accommodate up to 1200 people simultaneously, the project involves the creation of a new hub for the entire school. This will be accessible by a stepped square, similar to an amphitheater, and include a foyer, rooms for after-school activities, music rooms, a sports building, and a meeting and conference room.
Besides reorganizing the rooms spatially, the main purpose of the project was to bring the building up to standard in terms of accessibility and energy consumption, including by improving thermal performance and capacity.
Covered walkways and outdoor paths crisscross between the canteen and the surrounding buildings, while on the southern façade, a canopy provides students with a comfortable place to shelter near the entrance to the classrooms and indoor areas. The orientation of the structure itself and the modified layout of the rooms allow natural light to enter the building from glazed openings overlooking the garden.
Overall, the building is a very simple volume: the lower section comprises corrugated steel panels with a metallic gray finish that anchor it to the ground, while the cantilevered upper section forms the entrance area. This simple and economical construction principle also creates very flexible spaces.
As regards accessibility, a new elevator in the entrance to the foyer and canteen areas serves all levels, allowing people with reduced mobility to access the entire building.
The way the project takes advantage of what already existed, adapting it to comply with new legislation, makes this a model for the renovation of school buildings.
Location: Dammarie-les-Lys, la Seine et Marne
Client: IDF Region, Aménagement 77
Architect: ateliers o-s architectes
Site Area: 50,000 m2
Restructured Area: 3,099 m²
Structural engineering: I+A
Fluid engineering: YAC
Interior design: gAM2B
Photography by Cyrille Weiner, courtesy of ateliers o-s architectes