School group René Beauverie

Client : City of Vaulx-en-Velin
Cost : 12 511 000 € before tax
Surface : 6170 m2

As part of an urban renewal scheme, the town of Vaulx-en-Velin decided to combine with this large school group a number of programmes offering neighbourhood services, including a creche, a dance hall, a sports hall, a small library, and a restaurant.

The building has a very unitary appearance, with the classrooms spread over a length of 40 metres as if on a bridge. It clearly asserts its status as a public facility. The various entrances focus on a common forecourt, from which the programmes spread out in a complex yet fluid imbrication.

The ground floor is given over to the creche, the sports hall, and the nursery school. To reach the primary school, the pupils must use the large staircase leading to a courtyard area on the upper storey. The building has the appearance of a hollowed-out block. The various courtyards and patios bring natural light into the heart of the building, adding a gentle touch to the interior. The presence of different shades of blue provides links that are at times unexpected. The areas of white on modified by the various shades of blue; variations are caused by the light and the changing angle of the sun. The colour modifies the white areas, which eventually appear to take on colour themselves. These variations in colour and light change throughout the day, depending on the changing angle of the sun, and as a result the white areas are never completely white; the multiple reflections give the areas a feeling of architecture in movement. The colour is an obvious choice: the building is in dialogue with the horizon and the blue of the sky. The many programmes complement each other harmoniously, fitting together calmly despite their complexity.