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toa | architectes associés : Groupe scolaire Miriam Makeba

The city of Nanterre (92) sees a project of a new kind come out of the ground. Integrated in the transformation of the University district, the Miriam Makeba School Group, signed toa | associated architects, is in fact the first realization in raw earth of Île-de-France. An ecological and aesthetic bias that gives rise to a building with explosive texture games.

The project 4 050 square meters of floor area is part of a formerly very dense and vertical environment that the city of Nanterre wanted to ventilate. In order to break with this rectilinear panorama, toa teams are banking on an ethereal horizontal set comprising 15 classrooms ranging from kindergarten to primary school.

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One of the wishes of the contracting authority concerned the environmental issues of construction as well as the use of alternative materials. Already interested in the properties of raw earth from 2015, the architects see this project as an opportunity to integrate the clay into a large project. Resulting from the reuse of excavated material generated by the buildings of Greater Paris, the earth allows the building to be endowed with exceptional properties, whether hygrometric, thermal, phonic or ecological.

Used without cooking, the earth is layered between two planks, allowing toa teams to obtain walls up to 40 centimeters thick. Reinforcing these walls in mud, a structure concrete posts-beams ensures the durability of the whole and allows to isolate the ground of the infiltrations of water, major problem of the use of this alternative material.
Offering a real aesthetic quality, the brown color and rough texture of the earth contrast with the upper part of the building, covered with a corrugated stainless steel plate. A brilliant surface on which the rays of the sun come to play during the day when the lights of the city reflect there at night. "Anchored to the ground by its foundation in raw earth, suspended from the sky by the immateriality of its stainless steel cladding, the school group Miriam-Makeba blends into the horizontality of the landscape. " entrust the architects.

A contemporary building connected to natural elements.

To learn more, visit the site of toa | associated architects

Photographs: Frederic Delangle

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