Lucie Aubrac School, in France

The concept of the building volume has a free form referring to the bag of balls for children. The covering, is a porous and vegetated layer and the beads are the program elements that come together to give shape to the project.

The corners are rounded and the roofs are folded in order to generate an architecture that offers a gentle settling in the neighborhood. This effect is being reinforced by the white tone that catches light in the near and far vision. White is the color of the beginning. The white wooden facades combined with vegetation play as an indicator in an area where the brick dominates.

The spatial organization of this program presents an optimal performance in terms of accessibility, readability and fluidity of space, in order to create a learning “tool” where children are at the heart of their concerns.

The functional program which is divided into four volumes, reinforces the spatial visibility of the school. Two high volumes turn out to the city: one, containing classrooms in two levels, forms the corner of the streets, which is visible from distance; the other volume contains common functions, which is placed on the forecourt, acting as an urban label (marker), it offers a dual purpose: it shows the school entrances and the linear park trail. The third volume that occupies the center of the plot is the restaurant. It separates the two courts and connects the playgrounds. By its small size, It also preserves the views between the future linear park and the rue du Luxembourg. The fourth volume settles in the border of the parcel in transition between maternal playground and the access to the court of delivery of the dairy. It is accessible from the Luxembourg Street and gathers technical areas of the school. Thus, the access to different parts of programs has been clearly identified and disposed at opposite sides of the plot to ensure the safety of children. Optimizing the circulations is the recurring theme in the spatial organization of the project. Storage spaces are located close to related classes, thereby helping to avoid unnecessary travel.

The classes are settled on both sides of the program. Educational gardens, planted courtyards, vegetated terraces are all the elements that contribute to stretch the ecological corridor atmosphere projected along the railway embankment to the Luxembourg street and vice versa.

The architecture amazes and surprises, it challenges the space and the sense, it generates bright and spacious paths, able to ensure the best reception and secure conditions for children, «a porous cocoon.» The volume is rich in its spatial form which is reinforced by the game of light and shadow. It is the white color that dominates ; it catches the light, plays with color variation brought by the presence of plants, the recently planted trees and the green roof terraces. The dominant monochrome is ruptured by the entrances and playgrounds level to bring this honey color, which tries to color the natural light.

The wood is used for the whole façade of the program. The outer shell is made of fixed wooden louvers arranged parallel to the façade or changing direction gradually to animate the facade. Some parts of them are colored using with shades ranging from yellow to orange in covered areas (courtyard entrance).

The building is compact and also thermally efficient without harming the functional quality of the program. The pebble shaped volumes give a high index of compactness, which limits heat loss. The materials and the construction components fulfill all the criteria of environmental protection inducing a limited variety. The design of dual concrete wall consists of a 200 mm inner structural web isolated by a rigid insulator (JACKODUR) of 280 mm, which is protected by 150mm facade supporting elements in wood and aluminum. The wooden slats fit into the laser cutting aluminum tubes anodized by bronze color.

The school anticipates the future developments in Mackelerie neighborhood, South promenade park and the Roubaix railway station district.

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