Paleizenstraat 153 - 1030 Brussels
T 022444430 F 022444431 E

Competition proposal for the construction of a school

Location :
Client :
City of Strasbourg - Deux Rives
Team :
AgwA + UN1ON
Planning :
Category :
The new Starlette school is anchored in an up-and-coming neighborhood, between a park and the water. In stark contrast with its neighbors, it favors a constant rapport to the ground. Along the built front, the school offers a breath of fresh air and reinforces over its width the permeability of the alleyway system. The succession of courtyards and terraces reinforces a strong the ecological link between the riverbanks and the park. This crossing character of the school is declined at all scales and allows it to maintain multiple relationships with its environment. The two courtyards form the central spaces and places of the school, around which everything revolves. These large crossing spaces extend naturally under the large porches in the northern alleyway, in the open ground.

On the ground floor, the common spaces border the courtyards and form interior extensions. The cafeteria is logically located along the boulevard. The central wing houses the common spaces of the kindergarden as well as the principal and the staff room, directly linked to the two courtyards and the school as a whole. On the riverbanks, the open spaces are deployed outside of school time. They activate this public space in direct link with the water. Each volume forms the entrance of a school, easily apprehended by the youngest. Their double orientation offers an unexpected flexibility of use. They form active interfaces between the school and the neighborhood, between children and adults.
The classrooms form a long volume that crosses the entire length of the site. Its linearity resonates with the port infrastructures. Its position offers an optimal orientation, open to the water and to the park. Its finesse and simplicity of organization offer each class a double orientation, a direct visual link with the courtyards and natural ventilation. A large circulation area develops to the south. Generous, it forms a natural extension of the classrooms, a place conducive to new forms of teaching. It will host different dynamics according to the seasons: open in summer, heating in winter thanks to the solar contributions. Like the cyclical changes of the omnipresent vegetation, this space creates an unexpected natural dynamic within the school. The green roofs extend the courtyards on the upper floor. Accessible on the same level as the classrooms, they form outdoor learning spaces, connected to the great landscape, between the pond and the park, places of activity in the sun, in the wind, didactic and productive gardens.

The construction choices anchor the project in a conscious manner to environmental and social issues, to the making of the city. The concrete is limited to the first floor and the vertical circulations. A timber structure forms the floors. The timber-concrete slabs ensure the acoustic comfort of the spaces. These structures offer an increased flexibility, essential to the evolution of the school. But they are not neutral, they offer a singular identity to the spaces. Locally recovered bricks form the perimeter of the school, anchoring it in the local history.

By relying on its port context, the project offers unexpected pedagogical potential, a permanent relationship with the environment, a direct and palpable link to the ground and to vegetation. It thus proposes a revival of the outdoor school.

(extracts from the competition proposal)