Can't see the school for the trees

Friday 26 Feb 2010

Marcel Sembat high school continues it's integration with the surrounding parkland

The Marcel Sembat high school in Sotteville-les-Rouen is next to a public park. The entire school is divided in six buildings of different periods, from the 1930's to the 1990's.The project is a rehabilitation and an extension of the high school. There are four new important developments: a restaurant, a students’ housing building, houses for school staff and the biggest part, the workshops building.

The main idea of our proposal is, especially for the new workshops building, to integrate and connect the high school to the park and to restore the views and transparency to the outdoors, and perspectives on public space and landscapes.We opted for a simple and easy understandable project, that includes workshops at the park and the student’s housing buildings in the city. The building starts at the boundary of the park and fits naturally into the site by the wavy design of its vegetated roof to varying curves and low height. The slight oscillations reveal the fringes of a park in motion in the trees shades.

The students' housing building, by its discreet and elegant design integrates itself in the existent urban tissue. Its location allows to create a student safe access to their housing without leaving the high school perimeter. The unity between the two sites around the crossing street is ensured by the creation of a new public space which will be surrounded by a new library on the east side. This future 'piazza' will be in the same time a meeting space, a walking or restoring area and the main access to the high school.The whole project, particularly the new workshops, will be completed in early 2011.

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