Marcel Sembat High School / archi5 with B. Huidobro

© Thomas Jorion

Architects: archi5 with B. Huidobro
Location: ,
Project Year: 2011
Acoustic Engineer: ABC Décibel Steel
Steel Structure Contractor: Constructions métalliques Charondière
Main Contractor: Millery Colas
Project Area: 12,764 sqm
Photographs: Thomas Jorion

The Marcel Sembat high school, in Sotteville lès Rouen, is separated into two parts by a street that crosses. The buildings are connected by a bridge. A public park is located straight on the south side of the site. The entire school is divided in six buildings of different periods, from 30′s to 90′s.

© Thomas Jorion

The project is a rehabilitation and an extension of the high school. We are presenting here the biggest part of this project, the one that gives it’s visual identity: the new workshops building. This part of the Marcel Sembat high school is dedicated to technical teaching about motors and vehicle mechanics. It demands big spaces with high ceilings and important surfaces.

Master Plan

We opted for a simple and easily understandable project and decided to include workshops at the park with smooth lines which are connected to the park floor with their declivity. We proposed the demolition of two buildings, the reorganization of the workshops and the teaching spaces of industrial technology. In a building unit, we gathered all functions related to the workshops. The building starts at the boundary of the park and fits naturally in the site by the wavy design of its vegetated roof.

© Thomas Jorion

The main ideas of our proposal are; to find a unity and identity of the school in the whole site, to integrate and connect the high school and the park with the particular shape of the “blades”. We also wanted to create a public space around the crossing street by making a great plaza in front of the new workshops building.


And finally our purpose was restoring the views and transparency to the outdoors, and perspectives on public space and landscapes. For that we used glass and translucent polycarbonate on the frontages. We also created some little patios between the “blades” to make skylights.
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 oh the east side. This future “plaza” will be in the same time a meeting space, a walking or restoring area and the main access way to the high school.

© Thomas Jorion

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Marcel Sembat High School / archi5 with B. Huidobro" 28 Jul 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>