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School Olympe-de-GougeS, Arcueil

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This urban school raises a specific question: how can it offers enough accessibility, visibility and presence in the city, while being at the center of a block surrounded by dwellings? From our point of view, the architectural question raised in this situation is finding the right balance between interior and exterior. How can we provide a school with a strong presence, lively and engaged in the city, while at the same time providing a calm and protected interior?

From this idea, a path opens up and crosses from east to west. A fluid, horizontal and light-filled building follows alongside it and fits in calmly at the center of the block. The school is set back from the street, and this “school pathway” penetrates the block and split up into three routes. In this way, the school is very easily accessible by its public pathway.

The school is inserted delicately, melting into the site to find its place, and defines the boundaries of the path on the north and the courtyard on the south. This organization
is simple and unified. Considering the diversity of the surrounding architecture and other elements, we propose a continuous, homogeneous and calm form. From above, its footprint swings and bends to envelope the space and gives an impression of lightness, necessary for a building of this length.

Simultaneously, we searched for the most advantageous position for sunshine and for natural light to penetrate given the compactness of the building, under the Energy 0 Project. The building is therefore located along the north of the parcel to receive a maximum of solar energy through its roof and façades. The school does not cast any shadows over its own hallways, because the orientation of its premises are preferential to the north and south. The entirety of the parcel surrounding the building is planted, a continuous ribbon that redefines the school area, encasing it with vegetation.
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