Architects: Malcotti Roussey Architectes
Location: Vellefaux, France
Client: Community of Communes of Haute-Saône Chanois
Control of work: Scp-Malcotti Roussey, agent Associated with Thierry Gheza, architect
Project year: 2005 – 2010
Project area: 1,900 sqm
Photographs: Nicolas Waltefaugle
- Nursery school includes four classes, primary school five classes
- Three rooms for cultural activities
- Shared spaces : computer room, media library, art room, adaptable room, dining hall, kitchen
- Indoor and outdoor reception and playground
The project takes place on the edge of the village, in a vast natural landscape with an uneven topography. It turns itself to the natural landscape.
The orientation of the project is East/West along an axis which connects forests to each other.
The center of the composition regroups services and common rooms. An observation hut looking to the forest finishes in the west this virtual line. On pilotis, it is reachable by a footbridge. Touching the trees, it allows to escape from teaching frame for a while and to create a direct interaction with the nature. To the opposite extremity, a new day care center fences the whole composition.
A large covered forecourt reinforces the strong topography, it represents a signal for the project. Composed by a ramp and bleachers, it constitutes a real square for events organized by teachers and for after-school games.
From the forecourt to the observation hut, the penetration in the school is progressive as a succession of points of view to close or distant landscape. Several sequences reveal step by step the natural landscape.
It is a one storey building in « H » partially fitted in the slope. Playgrounds are protected from dominant winds (east/west).
On the west façade, classrooms, detached from the ground, have a large view on the bushy forest. Children benefit from this contact with trees and there inhabitants and follow seasons cycle.
Shape and material variations are contained to focus entirely to the landscape. Each fonctional entity is detached but each part is composed by the same construction principle and the same materials.
Façades are made of tinted concrete. The wood structure of flat roofs appears inside the building. Canopy and covered playground are built of coated-steel. Indoor and outdoor windows and doors are in wood. Most of the furniture were conceved and realised for the project.
Heating for both school and day-care center uses a wood boiler. Rooms are heated by the floor. Pluvial water is reused for toilets and watering. Solar heating for water is installed mostly for teaching use.