Photo © Frédéric Baron
Photo © Frédéric Baron
Photo © Frédéric Baron
Photo © Frédéric Baron
Photo © Frédéric Baron
Photo © Frédéric Baron
Photo © Frédéric Baron
Photo © Frédéric Baron
Photo © Frédéric Baron

Jean-Monnet Middle School

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Location
Broons, France
Year
2015

Situated in a semi-rural area, the Jean-Monnet Middle School is sensitively integrated into the landscape to minimize its visual impact. Built across the entire width of the site, at the lowest topographical point, the building creates a south-facing courtyard, bordered by a single-story cafeteria wing at its western edge. Consisting of two levels of hybrid timber construction on a concrete base, the school building includes 16 general and 9 special classrooms, a two-story library, an auditorium, a multifunctional hall, administrative offices and support spaces. A central multi-story atrium is crossed by bridges providing horizontal passageways at each level. This network creates a wealth of visual connections between the floors and promotes interaction.

Natural light dominates the interior. The glass-coverd atrium and its large continuous skylight filter light into every part of the building. High-placed windows between classrooms and in corridors allow for indirect light to transmit through. Large windows in the classrooms offer expansive views of the landscape. When the shades are deployed, the lower window bays still offer views to seated students. Natural materials are used throughout, further reinforcing the architectural style and its poetry. All materials were chosen for their durability and ease of maintenance. Realized as a model example of a modern school, the building also references local building traditions such as the concrete aggregate made from regionally sourced yellow granite on the ground floor façade. On the upper levels the cladding is of natural Douglas fir.

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