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ALTA built La Providence high school with all-white volume and V-shaped columns in France
France Architecture News - Jun 30, 2022 - 10:48 1118 views
Named La Providence High School, the 5,600-square-metre building is located on the street of La Croix Desille.
The new building is divided into 3 entities: a post-baccalaureate establishment with 6 classes for 150 students and a cafeteria on the ground floor; a high school with 10 classes with technical and administrative facilities for 350 students; and a sports hall.
ALTA distributes three entities over two floors, creating a single building gravitating around an atrium covered by a glass roof.
This central space is a reference to the glass-covered foyer of the "mother house", the Institution in Intramuros, a real meeting place, a place of conviviality, where everything happens.
The project is part of an iconic writing of Malo identity: as it is a partially "professional" high school dedicated to construction techniques.
In the project, the studio highlighted two architectural elements: two large beams that carry all the floors and facades of the equipment.
While the V-shaped columns evoke the image of port cranes, the shed glass roof references to the architectural identity of the buildings that can be seen around the port of Saint-Malo.
The atrium becomes the heart of the school that distributes daylight to inside, which is becoming a breathing space for students. The atrium also distributes the entire program from the corridors and walkways.
According to the studio, it acts as a buffer space, allowing the regulation of the climatic atmosphere of the building. It enables solar contribution in winter, cooling and natural ventilation in summer.
On the ground floor, the CDI, the administration, the school life premises, the sports room and the cafeteria are placed, while the two upper floors bring together the classrooms and the different areas / workshops linked to the vocational baccalaureate specializations.
The gymnasium, a space dedicated to the high school and the agglomeration, hosts on the first floor multi-sports, including basketball, handball, volleyball, badminton, and upstairs a weight room and a climbing wall.
The architecture continues the W-shaped structural motif, allowing the built volume to be suspended and freeing up a total transparency of the sports field towards the outside.
The studio put much emphasis on the quality and durability of the materials. "In the search for a refined style, we wanted to limit the multiplication of colours and materials," said ALTA.
The team used the single white colour to allow the living and active elements of the place needs to be highlighted, such as the natural light, the trees and plantations, but above all the students themselves.
The project takes advantage of the presence of existing trees of various species that border the avenue, not as a dimensional constraint but as a revelation of the landscape identity that allows a balanced dialogue between the project and the future development of the "campus" district.
Ground floor plan
Ground floor plan
First floor plan
Second floor plan
Location: Saint-Malo / France
Project owner: L’Institution La Providence
Architects: ALTA Le Trionnaire - Le Chapelain / project leader Mathias Robert
Surface: 5,600 m2 (Floor Area)
Program: High school with 500 students : 19 classes + workshops + cafeteria + school library + auditorium + gymnasium
Performance: Eco-referential for high schools Brittany region
EXE Project Manager: ELEMENT
Economy: Cabinet Collin
Fluid Engineering Consultant: OTEIS
Structure Engineering Consultant: OUEST STRUCTURES
Ordering, steering and coordination: Gedifi
Control Office / safety and health protection: Socotec / MDC
All images © Charly Broyez.
All drawings © ALTA Architectes – Urbanistes.