In 2017, the French architecture company Brenac & Gonzalez et Associés built the Lycée La Plaine, a new facility in the Montjoie ZAC urban development zone. Because of its scale and programmatic mix of a high school and a student boarding house, this project provided both an urban and architectural challenge.
The spiral served as inspiration for the building’s design, which represents mobility, advancement via knowledge, and increased social position through culture and study. The institution’s functional organization was designed to be accessible to the area and the larger metropolis. Bridge-like raised volumes were employed to create fresh viewpoints and visual links between the public space, forecourt, courtyard, covered playground, and inner gardens.
The high school, boarding house, and staff housing units were built above the food service area, which is shared by everyone and connects the entire program. This configuration makes the best use of available space while also fostering a sense of community within the structure.
The building’s facades were imagined as a tangle of moving ribbons. The ribbons move invisibly from the outside to the inside, creating a sense of continuity between the various rooms. Changes in materials used improved floor plan transitions. On the town side, textured concrete panels encased the dividers, while gray oak paneling was used on the inside to represent the recreation housed in the yard.
Brenac & Gonzalez & Associés’ work resulted in a spectacular new facility that combines functionality and aesthetics. The Lycée La Plaine exemplifies how architectural design can improve social connections and learning experiences. The architects have effectively transformed this space into a hub of education and culture by instilling a sense of community within the building and fostering visual links with the surrounding neighborhood and metropolis.
This project’s success can be observed in its popularity and continuous use since its completion. The Lycée La Plaine is a wonderful addition to the Montjoie ZAC urban development zone, offering pupils a beautiful and useful environment in which to learn and grow. It demonstrates the power of good design and its ability to improve the lives of those who use it.
Architects: Brenac & Gonzalez & Associés
Area: 15500 m²
Photographs: Stefan Tuchila
Eco – Design: Énergie Zéro
Location: Saint-Denis, France