Primary School in Beausoleil
PRIMARY SCHOOL (SOUTH OF FRANCE) (2007) The project is situated on a sloping terrain within a triangular parcel formed by the junction point of two infrastructures; the 'Moyenne Corniche', an arterial route linking Italy to Nice and the 'Bretelle du Centre' , a local road that winds around the hillside toward Monaco. To the right-hand side of the plot a 15 metres drop in height level separates the two roads. An aborted housing project allowed the town council to reclaim this parcel, one of the last plots available to developers, permitting the construction of a public amenity of 13 classes, a community/leisure centre and a shared canteen. Along the length of the 'Moyenne Corniche' a height servitude is imposed to new constructions to prevent buildings surpassing the 10% declination toward the sea in an attempt to preserve the views toward the Mediterranean. Once these recessions to the limits and alignments were respected, the maximum footprint was defined composing the volume available in which to insert the project. The initial competition program oriented the project towards a compact construction of three levels and a large shared playground. Our response was the inverse; to pile up playgrounds to obtain three superimposed ground levels. We placed an access from the top side (Moyenne Corniche) for the staff parking and an entry on the lower side (Bretelle) for the parents to drop off their children at a point sheltered under the fold of the construction. The three different programmes of a kindergarten, primary school and canteen/leisure centre are overlaid and so the profile of the building follows the slope of the natural terrain thus adhering to the view servitude. The shifting plates of the school begin to disappear into the topography recalling the local agricultural traditions of stepped terraces. A vertical core, comprising the library, kitchen and caretakers house, emerges from this artificial ground mirroring the scale of the neighbouring villas perched on sloping parcels. Wedged between the large retaining wall of the road above and the shifting plates of the project, this core creates the space for two planted courtyards that draw natural light into the stairwell and elements of the program placed in the hill-facing depths of the project. The structure of the project is in reinforced concrete. The edge of the floor plates are bush hammered and the small tower comprising the caretakers house is concrete, shattered, by a pneumatic drill to expose the aggregate, appearing almost mineral. The barriers are formed by 2.20 m high stainless steel netting, circumventing the playgrounds and creating a soft reflexive barrier to protect the children and stop errant footballs. The transparent effect of this fencing enhances the schools apparent projection into the landscape. The wide overhang of the floor plates creates a generous shade, protecting the glazed facades from the sun and providing shelter from the rain in winter. Inside the building, acidic hues of colours are employed as an intuitive method of signage, indicating the floor levels and directional sense and so facilitating the navigation around the school. An artist was commissioned to handpaint a vividly coloured 'fresque' of oversized flowers, marking the parents entrance and covering the floor of the exterior playgrounds. The project was imagined as an infrastructure conversing with the high containing walls of the Moyenne Corniche, endeavouring to create an intimate rapport between topography and construction. TECHNICAL INFORMATION Client: Town of Beausoleil. Represented by Mr Gilles Faccin Architects: CAB // CALORI AZIMI BOTINEAU architects (Jean-Patrice CALORI, Bita AZIMI, Marc BOTINEAU) /// Colours and Graphics: Polly Brotherwood Structural Engineers: TURRA Heating: ENERSCOP Economics: ARTEMIS Technical Inspection Services: VERITAS Construction Firms : Heavy Construction/ Structural Works: LEON GROSSE Sealing : SERI Metalwork: FOSSAT Joinery : DANDON Plumbing: CEPITELLI Electricity: MULTITEC Lifts : KONE Cost : 5 900 000 euros HT Surfaces : SHON= 3482 M² SHOB = 6956 M² Photography : Serge Demailly 1% Artistic Project: Michael Lin


19 photos and 1 drawing

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