EXTENSION AND PARTIAL TRANSFORMATION OF A SCHOOL FOR ADULTS COMPRISING STUDY ROOMS, CAFETARIA, AUDITORIUMS AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES | OPEN COMPETITION ORGANISED BY THE CLIENT, 1ST PLACE
Our society is ever-changing. To anticipate future evolutions, this project is designed as a bridge between the functional logic of the existing schools and the flexible organisation of a new learning environment aimed to be accessible and open to a world in transformation.
The strategic position of the extension in its context invites the project to articulate two distinct volumes: a horizontal volume that addresses the scale of the close vicinity and a vertical volume that addresses the scale of the waterfront. A shift in plan creates a generous forecourt along the Quay. Shared by the Charlemagne institution and the neighbouring Atheneum, it offers a qualitative entrance for both schools, and helps restructure the riverbanks. In the back, the shift offers a dilatation between the existing and new building, thus engaging in a respectful dialogue. A shift in elevation negotiates between the different heights of the context: humble towards its residential neighbours in the Rue des Rivageois, the extension stands high and proud along the Meuse.
Learning spaces are organised in the lower volume. A first duplex connects the Cafeteria with the Study, offering fantastic views on the River. A second – higher – duplex hosts all the classrooms, with direct access to a large terrace connecting to polyvalent rooms. Administrative spaces are nested in the highest volume.
A “built” void binds the new extension and the existing building. It engages in an intimate dialogue between different eras and ensures the connection of different floor levels. Specific attention to the management of fluxes allows for the development of different scenarios and uses, while the new extension marks a clear continuation of the serene and qualitative existing architecture.