The project is built on a slope around a large gallery that distribute project components (two new buildings with two levels each) and existing associated buildings (pupils management and F block).
- on the lower ground floor, the gallery is located close to the dining room and gives onto the multipurpose hall which is also accessible from the outside. As one enters, the gallery provides a visual understanding of the school organisation on all its levels,
- on the ground floor, the gallery serves successively: the library (new), pupils management (existing), administration (new) and the F block ground floor (existing). This is the main level, the new school’s focal point.
- on the first floor, the gallery serves classrooms (above administration) and the F block existing first floor.
This double height gallery is divided into two parts. It channels students from the bottom (north) in the manner of an internal street and serves the high school in its entirety. It alternates solid walls and glass walls allowing good visibility, natural light, views of relevant spaces (interior gardens, courtyard, access). This composition with a limited glass surface, allows it to generate good thermal performance (no overheating) and a high-performance soundproofing (see inner perspective).
With a lift at each end, the entire site is made accessible to persons with reduced mobility. In order to strengthen the position of the gallery and animate the facade from the courtyard, the staircase from the ground floor to the first floor is positioned against the glass front, giving a view of the inner flow from the courtyard.
The buildings have a timber frame with a zinc roof for the gallery and terraced green roofs for both new buildings.
The project adapts to the existing. In a heterogeneous environment, with a lack of identity, it seemed important to "mend a fabric in poor condition" and deal with it rather than propose "a project in the project" which would, by contrast, oppose a beautiful architecture to existing spaces.
For this, the blue colour showing on the spandrels of the original buildings is adopted in a united way on the gallery. It becomes an identity for the entire site, matching the colour of E and F blocks. Beyond, the new buildings are white adjusting to recent renovations made on the Estutt de Tracy street. So we have worked with existing specifications: colours and frames.
The wood frame with external insulation and fiber cement panels helps "weave" the project, matching the current facades of the original buildings. Here there is a 2.50m distribution for wood frames and 1.25m for facade panels with discrete joints, edge to edge.