Grand Selve School Group, Pessac, 2016
Grand Selve School Group
At first sight, the Grand-Selve district looks like a complex organised around its main road. However when looking closer, this part of the city is extremely different and has multiple appearances. So how can we create a consistent whole with the existing building and form new ties with such a unique urban setting? How can we fit into this “landscape”? What meaning should be given to the construction of a school, the local area’s place of learning and living? These essential questions have guided our project. The idea underpinning this project is as follows: offering the image of a peaceful building, which is firmly part of the Grand Selve district’s “landscape”, and which can hold its ground as a structured and symbolic public building. The building – with its open and dynamic architecture – is not just about working together with the community centre and the future housing area, but also respecting the remarkable large trees on the plot. It is designed on a ribbon model. It turns back on itself and does not have a gable or a hierarchy between the facades. The building grows, distorts and bends to create voids and extensions inwards and light. This continuous unit which turns back on itself creates “gaps”, or on the contrary perfectly defined spaces. By playing with the depth and material, the building filters and reflects the setting. The changing light during the day and over the seasons, which plays with the shadows of the mullions, also gives the facade resonance and depth. The careful architectural design, the strong presence of concrete and glass materials associated with the meticulous arrangement of the rooms gives the building its identity as an important public building.