Biodiversity School and gymnasium

The 20-classroom school is an educational tool thanks to a rooftop ecosystem and vegetated perimeter wall

An innovative design process produced a building that combines two project elements into a “living” whole, designed to play host to a diversity of flora and fauna. The challenge was to create a roof-level ecosystem: untamed nature blending with the texture of its residential perimeter. The answer is fluidity, creating links between volumes and voids, drawing contour lines to keep discontinuities to a minimum. The building becomes a piece of extruded terrain, an elevated landscape where a sheltered native habitat – the urban canopy – can freely evolve, protected by humanity. It is a process of natural development that will take time. The building’s appearance is subject to the laws of nature.

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Combining the programmes of a primary school, gymnasium and flourishing ecosystem that encompasses the facades and roof, this pioneering project is an exploration on hosting life in architecture and illustrates a desire to return biodiversity to the heart of urban areas.

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The principle of the building is based on the creation of a landscape that draws its textures and components from its original territory: it is both a place of learning and a fully recreated space of nature where children explore the fauna, flora and all the events linked to the succession of seasons.

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This building is alive and its appearance continues to evolve. Through its function as a living landscape, the envelope it offers today will be different in five years, in ten years, with the uncertainty of a nature that does not settle where it is expected...

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Location

Boulogne-Billancourt (92)

Client

Saem Val de Seine

Area

6,766 m²

Team

EVP (structure), Cferm (HVAC), F. Bougon (cost analysis), F. Boutté (Hqe), A.E.U. (ecologist), Biodiversita (biodiversity), Begc (kitchen design), Peutz (Accoustics)

Cost

€18 M before tax

Phase

Delivered in 2015
In progress: restructuring and ecological management plan for roof gardens (monitoring of fauna and flora and mowing every two years)

Project manager

Sophie Deramond

Mission

Complete

Program

Primary school, 18 classrooms with a regional, certified, type C gymnasium and leisure centre

Certification

Hqe certification for the school building with 8 targets scored VG and 2 targets G, Hqe process for the gymnasium

Photos

Myr Muratet, Takuji Shimmura, Cyrille Weiner