Early childhood wooden school

Nursery School Épinay-sous-Sénart / France / 2009

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The nursery is located in the town of Épinay-sous-Sénart (near Paris) on the edge of a typical 1970s estate made up of 5-storey linear buildings and ‘small’ 12-storey tower blocks naturally characterised by
tall, massive and rectangular features. These somewhat homogeneous buildings delimit the communal landscaped open spaces that appear overwhelmed by rendered concrete masonry. Recently refurbished, the estate projects a relatively calm image despite its rough social reality.


The land features a clump of tall pine-trees, an extensive grassy area that slopes gently down to the Yerres river and a view of the distant countryside beyond the opposite bank of the river. The project consists of 5 entities, all linked to childhood but each one distinct and requiring its own configuration and access.
Comparative study of both site and project generated a proposal that was in direct contrast to its immediate environment.


The project actually developed into a group of small units at right angles to the main access road and alternating with strips of vegetation.


Each unit has a panelled roof whose slope differs according to the activities underneath. The height to ridge beam and therefore the resulting available internal space are linked to the room’s importance.
Outside, each project entity has its counterpart in its adjoining garden.


Architecture at odds with its surrounding built context but in tune with Nature and the honking of geese. A child-friendly environment that reflects their magical world but is far removed from their daily life. Somewhere between a Nordic chalet and a beach hut: and all on one floor.

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    The nursery is located in the town of Épinay-sous-Sénart (near Paris) on the edge of a typical 1970s estate made up of 5-storey linear buildings and ‘small’ 12-storey tower blocks naturally characterised bytall, massive and rectangular features. These somewhat homogeneous buildings delimit the communal landscaped open spaces that appear overwhelmed by rendered concrete masonry. Recently refurbished, the estate projects a relatively calm image despite its rough social reality. The...

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