The La Fontaine du Roy secondary school is located on a remarkable site, on the site of the former gardens of Château Thierry, an emblematic historic monument in Ville d’Avray. In this exceptional setting, the functionality of the new college has been completely rethought and modernised to offer a high level of user comfort (acoustics, air quality, circulation, etc.) but also to transform the building and make it environmentally efficient by reducing its energy consumption by 40% and dividing its CO2 emissions by 2.5.
The college has been restructured and extended by a linear building that marks the entrance to the establishment and presents a building frontage on the street. This extension fits in with the existing school and removes the monolithic appearance of the original building. It creates a protective shield around the playground, while offering views towards the interior of the block. Its façades, made of polished aluminium slats, give rhythm to the project, catching the light, reflecting the landscape and thus helping to integrate the building into the landscape.
A high degree of constructive and functional clarity has been sought. The school is bathed in natural light. The square buildings are structured by wide, through-going corridors on each level, allowing intuitive orientation. The existing facilities have been retained and integrated into the design. The premises are arranged over three levels. The hall, following on from the forecourt, welcomes the pupils, who can use the wide steps to reach the courtyard below, or the classrooms above.
All the roofs are planted with vegetation. The original millstone wall has been preserved and surrounds all the buildings. As a reminder of the site, it interacts with the limestone facades of the extension. The plant heritage and remarkable trees on the site have been preserved and enhanced. Lastly, the outdoor spaces are the subject of a special landscaping project to restore the historic perspective that linked Château Thierry to the 18th-century gardens where the college is now located. Along this axis, various spaces have been developed, including the existing courtyards, which have been enlarged and remodelled. It’s a project with a major urban and historical dimension, and an ambitious modernisation plan.