This project is located in Villepreux, a town in the Yvelines department, in Île-de-France, about 12 km west of Versailles. 

In the perspective of the avenue du Grand Canal, the main facade of the school group describes a curve gradually releasing a free surface on the northwest corner of the plot. The space thus cleared allows the creation of a square structuring the urban implantation, from the rue des petits écuries, it is positioned in such a way as to visually open the axis extended by the pedestrian alley towards the plain of Versailles, from the plain , the plant grove formed around the square and the car park, is integrated into the composition of the large landscape. 

By opening to the west, the square puts the residential buildings at a distance and benefits from a favorable solar orientation. On the other hand, it allows a generous, fluid and gentle urban and visual connection between the promenade on the crest of the embankment of the departmental road, the parking lots, the Avenue, the school group and the residential district to the south. Pedestrian space at the crossroads of flows, the place becomes ideal for opening up the forecourts of schools and offering residents and schoolchildren a space for games, sharing and meeting, an active, friendly and fun place before and after school. The public, accessible and open nature of the school group is thus affirmed in a predominantly residential neighborhood with a lack of collective spaces. 

Although largely open to the square, the building is located in alignment and in a continuity of size with the gable of the adjoining dwellings to the northeast and follows the shape of the ground in the DRC in its southern limit. 

The low volumes to the south favor solar gain in the playgrounds and a suitable scale ratio with the adjoining houses. To the east, the setting back and also on the ground floor provides a planted strip in contact with the gardens of the small collective offering a de facto relationship of politeness with the neighborhood by distancing buildings and designing low volumes. 

Overlooking the square, the main facades are composed of two superimposed and contrasting strata. In the lower part, the mineral base, protective and massive, is made up of solid bricks in natural colors punctuated by occasional and vertical openings in wood joinery. The very largely glazed halls of the various functional entities are arranged there facing the forecourt and are connected by a continuous awning which follows the geometry of the building and protects the parents from the rain. 

In the upper part, a largely glazed horizontal coronation marked by fine vertical elements forms a continuous panoramic window on the large landscape and on the suburban districts to the south and east. The vertical wooden uprights and the roof overhangs of varying depths depending on the orientation protect the facades from the sun and bad weather. The roof hosts a flowery meadow planted with seasonal vegetation. 

Visuals ©: Paul-Emmanuel Loiret


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