Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Sergio Grazia; courtesy the architects
Read Time: 2 mins
Two antagonistic citiscapes sandwich between them the Trivaux-Garenne campus in Clamart – a south-western suburbs of Paris, where the scale of intervention becomes the heart-line of the project…
The ambitious project of constructing two elementary schools and two nursery schools along with a large sports complex is located on a broad trapezium-shaped terrain extending over 5 hectares and offering the opportunity to reconcile two areas, two period urban fabrics based on very different conceptions.
The predominantly residential neighbourhood has to its south, single-family homes spread out over relatively small city blocks, presenting a soft and repetitive scale; while to the north lies a vast neighbourhood of social housing rising from a large-scale covered collective space in a uniform alignment of imposing towers. The scale of intervention therefore creates a link through architecture that pacifies their discordant relation, creating three transversal accesses, one of which is a central pedestrian street serving the sports facility and the schools.
The campus is broadly classified into two main units - the sports complex, under a vast and unique metal envelope; and the school complex, protected by a landscaped plaza, and composed of four schools and their shared areas viz., lunch room, recreation areas, cultural centre, etc.
Four schools, mainly on the ground floor, are spread out under a vast green roof, in an inaccessible but prominent area. This semi-intensive green roof, planted as a “flowering prairie,” also ensures excellent thermal insulation, hygrometric comfort, as well as optimal retention of rain water, thereby reducing run-off from the lot.
Main bearings on this large site consist of volumes that cut through this vast ensemble, emerging from the large green cover, creating occasional double height areas, areas of respiration, and openings toward the sky; while also signalling the particular elements of the program located on the first floor.
The geometric complexity of the structure and the roof present interesting technical challenges that lead the architects to make the ambitious and original choice of utilizing cross-laminated timber for the roof’s complex wide-span framework, thereby offering the possibility of making large-scale curved box girders; creating a cover of approximately 40 m x 100 m extending from north to south, and joining the ground at either end, where the roof gradually becomes the façade.
The soft and supple outline of the campus creates a new and calm landscape open to its environment and the site as a whole expresses the qualities of a program that organizes shared spaces and shared uses. The project is conceptualized and realized by architects, Gaëtan Le Penhuel, Gaëtan Morales, Cristina Fernandez and Laetitia Biabaut.