- Area: 3244 m²
- Year: 2019
- Environmental Quality: Bet Choulet
- Client: Maitrise d'Ouvrage - City of Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire
- Floor Area: 3,244 m 2
- Park Area: 4,226 m 2
- Landscaping: Bertrand Massé
- Fire Safety: CSD Associés
- Kitchens: Cuisinorme
- City: Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire
- Country: France
Text description provided by the architects. The project, located in the Parc de Montjoie in the centre of the town of Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, comprises 5 nursery classes, 8 elementary classes, an after‑school facility, a catering unit and a sports facility designed for pupils and associations.
We were eager to design a building that combines architecture and landscape, providing a sense of visual continuity between the landscaped park and the building. Seen from the entrance to the Park, the massing highlights the horizontality of the layout. The building features large roof overhangs that form a sheltered walkway and covered areas all around the building.
Greenery plays an essential role in the appearance and layout of the building. It forms part and parcel of the design, making its presence known throughout: the living roof provides a sense of continuity with the park, the playground is punctuated by grassy banks sloping down from the windows all around the building, the venerable oak tree that has been left in place forms the centrepiece of the elementary school playground and the educational garden on the nursery school rooftop is a real nature awareness place with its insect corner and vegetable plots.
The spirit of the project is also expressed through the materials used: wood, concrete and metal. Seen from the outside, the use of metal makes for a sleek contemporary look that contrasts with the very warm feel of the pale coloured wood inside. The building’s uninterrupted façades alternate glass and metal and are punctuated by greenery. The metal structural elements alternate with wooden beams, giving a rhythmic feel to the facade. The use of metal and glass makes it possible to combine an elegant structure with a high degree of transparency, subtly integrating the building into the landscape.
With more than 467 cu.m, wood has been widely utilized in the project whether for the superstructure, the framework and the interior fit-out. The entire roof structure (posts, beams, and ceiling) was modelled in 3D and factory-built in an optimised, automated way. To ensure sustainability, all of the wood used on the exterior has been weather-proofed.
To make the building blend in with the landscape and facilitate its use, it is mainly a ground floor development: only part of the elementary school occupies an upper floor. The building generously opens out onto the landscaped areas, but the U-shaped layout creates a centrality, gradually revealing the heart of the building as you walk around the planted pathway. The main building wraps around the two playgrounds facing the park. The north wing of the building turns back on itself to form a sheltered forecourt, highlighting the entrances to the school. The sports facility, located where the planted pathway meets the school, is fully integrated with the school building in order to facilitate connections and optimise circulation.