Text description provided by the architects. The project consists of creating affordable housing units in an existing building where a local school for the hamlet of the Municipality of Essômes sur Marne is located and transforming the entrance to make access suitable for the needs of the disabled persons.
The original distribution of the building has been entirely reorganised and reconceptualised partly because the only existing apartment to be used originally by a teacher had not been occupied for many years. The proposal makes use of the entire volume of the building, both the occupied and unoccupied parts. The new entrance hall with a core staircase has been created on the place of the previous technical rooms. This new element is emphasised inside as well as from the outside by meticulously finished raw materials, which gives the feeling of a contemporary interlude in the middle of an old, longish frontage. The window frames were made of the same material and were added around the existing windows of the school in order to emphasise the coexistence of the new program with the preserved activity of the school.
This new distribution is recognisable on the main elevation aligned with the adjacent road. It stands out distinctly with its Corten steel cladding with an integrated bay window. Inside, the reflections of the natural surroundings coming through the bay window create a pleasant and calm atmosphere in the common parts of the building.
In order to add uniformity to the project, all the timber window frames and shutters, as well as all the elements of the iron work such as a balustrade and hand railings are painted in the same colour. At the same time, the composition of the panels of Corten steel landmarks, the new main entrance and the openings give a contemporary feel to the project, and preserves the simplicity and authenticity of the original building.