Text description provided by the architects. Designing a school of architecture after 20 years of teaching in several should be an easy task. Yet, designing a building inhabited by architects and students of architecture is a nightmare. It’s the feeling of being confronted by hundreds of critics day after day, even after the building has been built: a parody of your worst dreams coming true… The only response to the question posed by the competition brief for the extension to the school of architecture in Lille was to find a way to comment through architecture on the range of questions confronting our discipline today.
What is the role of structure in architecture? Where does structure begin and architecture end, and vice versa? What attitude should we adopt with regard to the question of surface, of facade? What position should we take on the question of details when the client’s budget hardly allows for the building? How can architecture respond to the specifics of a pedagogical programme, and should it? How can the architecture of a school inspire its students during the five years they spend there? We are still questioning!