Moulins Secondary School

A 500-student secondary school open to the city, a 100-bed boarding school, a disabled sports complex and a cultural centre

The Moulins secondary school in Lille is a building-landscape that radiates and interacts with its environment: carried by the context and in close connection with the city, its geography unfolds in a ring around a central courtyard facing south. Two parts stand out: the ground floor, which is animated for pedestrians and plays with transparency while delimiting the facility's footprint; the upper part, treated as a topography that makes it possible to identify the three fundamental elements of the programme: the secondary school, the sports hall and the boarding school. This whole complex is unified by a single skin of pre-weathered zinc.

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Located in a district still undergoing regeneration composed of brick buildings for freight and manufacturing, the school complex occupies a corner plot facing the raised metro line. Its position invites multiple readings and perceptions from the different dimensions of the urban space.

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A first approach corresponds to a rather furtive view, seen from the aerial metro, or from the neighbouring buildings. The whole is treated as a continuous development, playing with the volumetry and the masses of the programmes. This geography is unified by a flexible skin of pre-patinated zinc that hugs the shapes of each volume while signifying the presence of an emblematic public facility.

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A second, more local approach is that of the relationship between the neighbourhood and the facility: it refers to the pedestrian's gaze. The porous ground floor is treated with transparency, offering views into the depth of the whole plot from the street.

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Lille (59)


Conseil Général du Nord and the city of Lille


13,853 m²


Hdm engineering (HVACS, structure), Act environnement (Hqe), Becquart (costing), Flandres analyses (acoustics), Kvds (landscape), Studio Joran Briand (designer)

Associate architects

Avant Propos Architectes


€21 M before tax


Delivery 2015

Project manager

Sébastien Chevance




Secondary school for 500 pupils, 50 bed boarding unit, parasport complex with type C sports hall and cultural centre (dance studio, concert hall…)


School Hqe certified by Certivea, 3 targets VG and 6 targets G, Sports complex Hqe process


Takuji Shimmura


Archi Zinc Award 2016