Paris-based Chartier-Dalix architects shared with us their winning proposal for a competition to design a primary school and sport hall in Boulogne Billancourt, a commune in the western suburbs of Paris. More images and architect’s description after the break.
At the heart of the large ongoing urban renovation of the area including the now well-known Ile Seguin, where Renault used to have their main factories, Chartier Dalix Architectes just won the competition for an innovative type of school. It will be mixed with a public gymnasium and both will be covered with a “living” shell, hosting a wide range of local fauna and flora, from bugs to owls through different species of trees and plants. The matter being to simulate a self-contained ecosystem, a landscape and a view for the surrounding buildings, a rich field of explorations and discoveries for children. In this complex context we opted for a plain architecture, connecting volumes and fonctions into a fluid shape. This artificial topography generates hollows and bumps, paths and sheltered areas, with no rupture or arrangement.
The school is an extruded bit of territory, a both human promoted and self growing canopy landscape. Following this logic, class rooms softly curl up arround playgrounds and vegetated areas, increasing contacts and views.
Architects: Chartier-Dalix architects
Location: ZAC Rives de Seine, Lot A4 Est, Boulogne Billancourt 
Client: SAEM Val de Seine Aménagement
Budget: 12.5M€ HT
Project area: 6,590 sqm
Project Team: Franck Boutté (HEQ consultant), E.V.P. (structure),CFERM (fluids), Fabrice Bougon (économist.), Atelier d’Ecologie Urbaine (ecologist)
Project Year: 2011-2013
Images: Courtesy of Chartier-Dalix architects