Vaulx-en-Velin, Rhône, France

The new Ecole Langevin consists of a primary school that has been brought up to current standards, and a new nursery school. The architectural relationship between buildings dating from the 1960s and the new structure resides in the fact that while there is a contrast of scales and materials, the familiarity of the constructive textures remains. The overall configuration thus retains its essential coherence.
In order not to add any further complexity to the relative morphological heterogeneity of the site, the orthogonal arrangement of the buildings has been conserved. The new school gives a clear view over Rue Franklin, past the existing block, in an unbroken extrapolation of the alignment. The project then extends southward towards the playgrounds, accompanying the eye and the modes of access towards the main entrance, situated further on. This arrangement includes an area at the entrance that prolongs the public space. This area is a place of sociability that acts as an “urban vestibule.”
The constructional characteristics of the project are simple:
- a compact volume, and constructional simplicity;
- a sectorisation of the programme, based on the requirements of the different ambiances, and optimal energy use;
- a limitation of thicknesses, so as to maximise the quality of the natural lighting;
- the use of wood frames throughout.

School, Vaulx-en-Velin, Rhône, France

1600 m2 + renovation
3.4 M.€HT
Municipality of Vaulx-en-Velin
BPR, Arborescence
Environmental approach
BBC RT 2005