building the city
on the city
The construction of the new Pierre Brossolette high school is an important step in the urban renewal of the Gratte-Ciel joint development area in Villeurbanne. It is located in the heart of the existing city, on a plot of land that once housed disused craft and industrial sheds.
Conceived as a place of life, teaching and learning that can be appropriated by all, the building also raises awareness among the general public about the ecology of construction, thanks to the highlighting of a sustainable technology : the natural ventilation chimneys.
This complex school program, including a tower of staff housing and a Greta – a vocational training center for adults – extends the building frontage on rue Francis de Pressensé in the continuity of the new Alexandra David Neel sports complex, also designed by the ANMA agency.
with the existing
The block composes a micro-city where the high school alone presents an evolving and varied “skyline”. The impact of the building’s volumes is tempered by variations in scale, form and materials that give the complex a welcoming silhouette, perfectly integrated into the neighborhood.
The series of volumes of the building wraps around the playground while opening regular visual openings on the public space and allowing the autonomy of each program. The first floors of the entire periphery of the block are thus turned towards the public space and convivial activities: student foyer, CDI, amphitheater, restaurant. The most autonomous programs such as the staff housing, the health center and the Greta have a double access to the public space and the courtyard.
The discovery of the high school is marked by a soft, qualitative and perennial materiality that underlines the facades in ochre colored bricks, the zinc chimneys and the colored woodwork. Inside, natural, raw and noble materials create a warm and welcoming atmosphere: wood fiber panels, linoleum floors, spruce lath siding, colorless stained concrete walls, door frames and monumental wooden staircase.
When you walk through it, the feeling of volume is intensified by the apparent implementation of the networks. Characteristic of ANMA’s architectural approach and contrary to common practice, they are fixed under the wood fiber sound absorbing panels, without a false ceiling. They participate in the animation of the interior of the building, accentuate its exposure and reinforce the feeling of space.
center of gravity
In the center, the monumental staircase acts as the center of gravity of the building, immediately adopted by the students. It is the main actor in the staging of high school life: it is a meeting point where one observes, from the comfortable double steps, all the facets of high school life and intrigues. We take advantage of it at the inter-course, to settle down in this sheltered and heated space.
On the upper floors, the interior distribution uses inclined concrete walls along the corridors to break the linear and monotonous aspect of the corridors. These dilations take the form of plazas, where one can meet, without disturbing the flow, in spaces naturally lit from the bays at the ends of the corridors or the skylight of the monumental staircase. These irregular paths are accentuated by the apparent networks that follow the slopes of the concrete walls.
of the city
The courtyard and the terraces are decorated with vegetation to break up the minerality of the whole. The large planted beds are composed of species whose purple and gold foliage matches the hues of the brick facades. In the courtyard, an Empire green canopy allows for a sheltered distribution of the ground floor of all the buildings.
At the top, characteristic zinc roof elements mark each entity of the high school and free the roofs from any non-integrated technical equipment. The technical aediculae and skylights are complemented by large chimneys for natural ventilation. In spring and autumn, these allow to reduce by two the electrical consumption necessary to the double flow mechanical ventilation.
Architect : ANMA
Associate architect : AA Groupe
HQE : Inddigo
Structure, fluides, VRD : Berim
Economy : Cyprium
Acoustic : Lasa
Arnaud Tallon (landscape)
Arnaud Tallon (landscape)