School complex

Chartres - France

For a neighborhood to succeed, the school must succeed as it is an important attraction for new residents.

From the outside, a perimeter stone wall is inhabited by vegetation, hedges, and vegetal fences that change their colors seasonally.

From the inside, one can find a “notebook” of ideas for the three programs of the school complex: the day-care nursery, the preschool, and the elementary school.

The differentiation between the nursery, preschool, and elementary school is created through a game of references, forms, materials, and colors. The nursery is brightened with bold colors and simple forms. The preschoolers evolve surrounded by palettes of materials, concrete, and tree trunks. The older children find themselves in a more industrial world, full of references to cartoons, mechanics, pipes, and machines. The structure of the elementary school is also inspired by this game; there are beams of coated Glulam, logs, and even steel members.

The courtyards are true landscapes. At the center of each is a volume that is occupied by restrooms and storage. For the nursery this is an inhabited boulder; for the preschool it is a wooden chalet; for the elementary school it is a small factory.

The school is a world of possibilities that grows with the child—a mirror offered to the imagination. Here, it is also an open book of architecture that could even encourage vocations.

PROGRAM School complex


Client City of Chartres Team Maison Edouard François, BET Nicolas (MECHANICAL ENGINEERING), ACV (ACOUSTICIAN), BET Verdier (structure), Marc Vatinel (LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT)


Area 5 218 M² Net Floor Area (1 076 m² (Pre school), 1 076 m² ( elementary school), 711 m² (common spaces), 926 m² (nursery), 78m² (PMI center)) Budget 9,6 M € Schedule COMPETITION 2006, DELIVERY 2010


ENVIRONMENTAL LABEL QEB (qualité environnementale du bâtiment)




School complex

Beaulieu neighborhood