R2K Architectes' wood-rich Groupe Scolaire Pasteur in Limeil-Brevannes brought to life with colourful art pieces by Lauri Ahlgren
A cluster of preschools and elementary schools around a set of common facilities has completed in Limeil-Brevannes in the southeast suburbs of Paris. Designed by R2K Architectes with wood engineers Gaujard Technologies, Groupe Scolaire Pasteur is a 9,500 sq m scheme which creates a buzzing educational environment for young children in this close community.
The building is one of the largest education facilities for young pupils in France with approximately 1,000 students throughout the 5 schools, all of which are served by their own private courtyard but share a restaurant and common library. R2K Architectes explains: “We wanted to create for every school its own identity and its own community in the big overall frame.”
It is hoped that Groupe Scolaire Pasteur will produce a new urban space for Limeil-Brevannes as the bulk of the school building will face the town hall to the north, while the south side will form a public square once 46 apartments - also designed by R2K Architectes - are constructed in 2014 as part of the extended competition brief.
R2K Architectes’ concept is very wood-heavy with 3,000 cb m of wood in total. Recycled materials, pine and spruce were used in construction with larch for the exterior and thermally-treated beech on the terraces. The result is a warm and welcoming facility which is not intimidating to young children and the interiors are flooded with light which pours in through the large windows which open out onto uncovered courtyards.
Children will also benefit from the generous use of glass in the corridors as the wide passages and glass walls enhance visibility and have been proven to reduce levels of bullying. This amiable atmosphere has also been enhanced by a scattering of colourful murals by Finnish artist Lauri Ahlgren, with colourful abstract patterns injecting a little extra personality into this inviting new school.