- Frei Rezakhanlou Architects
Project managementEric Frei, Kaveh Rezakhanlou
CollaboratorsSarah Hay, Sarah Di Dio
PartnerBECSA for site supervision
Text description provided by the architects. The facilities are used by five distinct villages and propose a kindergarten, a primary school and a multi-purpose hall (sports, music, theatre, events). In consequence, The competition site was chosen just outside the village of Chermignon-d’en-Bas on the main road connecting the villages to each other and to the Rhone valley at the foot of the mountain.
On this rather steep site, the brief required several outdoor (flat) surfaces as in the kindergarten’s playground, the schoolyard and for gatherings in general. The project responds to this by providing a central forum (or agora) around which the buildings and retaining walls are set. The new sixth village becomes a significant public facility serving the whole region.
The school and the multi-purpose hall touch at an angle retaining the mountain to the north. Being under the same roof greatly facilitates the use of the sports hall by pupils and vice-versa the school’s refectory from the foyer for spectators when the hall is used for other events.
The kindergarten is a lower two storeys volume set to the south and overlooking a spectacular alpine view across the valley. The enclosed playground is a mid level platform accessible from both floors of the kindergarten.
In line with a certain tradition in alpine architecture, the buildings are in reinforced concrete, here both inside and out. This gives a formal unity to the whole that is further accentuated by the use of similar-sized windows on all facades. In some interiors wood is used next to concrete, which is also usual in mountain architecture. The multi-purpose hall is entirely covered in larch wood, as it is the noblest part of the complex.