Dietrich Untertrifaller Architekten with Colas Durand - Simone-Veil Middle School Lamballe, France
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Simone-Veil Middle School Lamballe, France

Dietrich Untertrifaller Architekten with Colas Durand

Education  /  Completed
Dietrich Untertrifaller Architekten with Colas Durand
The College in Lamballe (Brittany, France), planned for 820 students, consists of two separate buildings: a long rectilinear parallelepiped rests on a gently curved base, to echo the site’s topography and fit in with the landscape. Fully glazed, the ground floor brings a sense of lightness to the building. It contains the entrance hall, the covered playground, the spaces for education, a multi-purpose room, and the canteen. On the facades facing southeast and northwest, vertical and horizontal wooden sunshades control the amount of light entering the two floors of classrooms. They increase the thickness of the façade and their shape adds variety to the linear building. Inside, a three-story atrium gives natural light to the circulation area and the classrooms, creating a contrast with the compact nature of the building.

The construction blends concrete on the ground floor to assure the sturdiness of the premises used by all, with prefabricated elements for the wooden boards (cross laminated timber) on the upper floors. The project respects the environment. Untreated local materials help the building fit in with its surroundings and also ensure the durability of the construction.

The French school system has very strict, standardized space programs. Schools in France are basically all-day schools. Students are only allowed to work in the designated rooms and there are no other freely usable areas. It is very important for the teachers to have control and an overview. Toilets are only located in the covered courtyard. The refectory must be externally accessible so that suppliers do not have to enter the school. In the morning, the pupils gather in the covered schoolyard and go collectively to their classrooms. Because of these conditions, generous, bright access zones for communication and accommodation are very important. With the College in Lamballe, it was possible to strictly implement this highly standardized space program of French schools without restricting the generosity of the space.

Opened in 2018, the school in Lamballe, Brittany, is the last of now six projects by Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten in France. Since 2013, the Collège Jean Monnet in Broons (2013-2015), the Sports Center in Longvic (2013-2015), Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Art (ENSA) in Nancy (2013-2016), the Strasbourg Convention Centre (2013-2016) and another sports center in the urban expansion area Bon Lait in Lyon (2014-2016) have been realized. After winning a competition in 2017, the firm is currently constructing the mixed eco-district “Cartoucherie Wood’art” in Toulouse.


Client: Conseil Départemental des Côtes d’Armor
Location: F-22400 Lamballe, Rue de Dahouet
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller with Colas Durand Architectes
Project management: Gerhard Pfeifer, Christina Kimmerle
Competition: 2015
Construction: 2016-2018
Gross Floor Area: 9,000 m²
Capacity: 820 students


 Conseil Départemental des Côtes d’Armor
 9000 mq
 Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten with Colas Durand
 Gerhard Pfeifer, Christina Kimmerle
 structural engineering concrete: Espace Ingénierie, Saint-Brieuc / structural engineering timber: QSB, Lannion / HAVCR: Thalem Ingénierie, Bruz / acoustics: Acoustibel, Chavanne / costs: M2C, Lamballe
 Luc Boegly


The office, founded in 1994 by Helmut Dietrich and Much Untertrifaller, is one of the iconic agencies of the renowned School of Vorarlberg. Managed by Helmut Dietrich, Much Untertrifaller, Dominik Philipp and Patrick Stremler, it employs an international team of 90 architects working in Austria (Bregenz and Vienna), Switzerland (St. Gallen), France (Paris) and Germany (Munich). We often develop our international projects with the support of local agencies and regional partners. In the past few years, we have realized numerous projects in Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland.
We create our architecture from its respective context – restrained in style with spatial sophistication and demonstrating a finely nuanced materiality. The entire spectrum ranging from large-scale buildings and urban structures through alterations of existing buildings to apartment buildings and single-family homes defies specialization, constantly challenges and inspires creativity and an inquiring mind.


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