École de la 2ème chance

The Second Chance School Paris / France / 2011

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The Second Chance School address the young people from 18 to 25 years old. It involves young people taken out of the school system without diploma that is for whom the school was not a success.
The Second Chance School offers a formation from 9 months to 1 year. It is a question to reach the control of the basic knowledge: reading, writing, counting, and learning notions of computing and notions of a foreign language.
During this period, the young people are brought to make two or three training courses in companies of the region to discover the world of the work, its constraints, and its possibilities. The formation is very personalized, that is to say that every young person is followed inside the school by a «referent» with whom he can talk about his problems so educational as personal. In the company, he is followed by a guardian.
It is not indeed a question of forming simply a future employee but of helping young person to understand the world in which he is, to be situated in it and to understand mechanisms. For that purpose, it is necessary to have the opportunity to act inside the economic system, in the company, to rub shoulders with those who work in it. Indeed “we can enter company, that being involved with one History (Story)”.
At the end of his course in the School of the Second Chance, the young person can obtain a certificate which indicates its skill level and is of use to him of passport to enter the active life.
The second chance school of Rue d’Aubervilliers will be inaugurated in January, 2011 and can welcome 140 pupils. It will be chaired by Olivier Jospin.
The building has to breathe of attention, care, dynamism, positive value, to go with and to favour the new start of these young people. We consider that the architectural space is essential: the architecture owes to express clearly hope and revival, it has to accompany them on the way of the success and participate to restore trust to the pupils. They must be proud of their building.


The restructuring of the Second chance School is not only an architectural project but is by its impact, a social project, playing a role essential in our society. The last witness of the railroad activity, the ancient building, of rectangular shape (22 m x 9 m), made up of 3 levels, was in a state of out datedness. The operation consisted in a heavy restructuring of the existing building: technical equipment and the complete restoration of the home fonts and charge joineries.


We wished at the same time to emphasize the potential of the existing building and offer a dynamic and developing frame to the pupils by bringing an architectural identity at the Second Chance School.
Many spaces were create in spite of the constraints of the program‘s surface:
- Room formation
- desks
- Room of interview
- Pole company
-Toilets
-Computer room
-Technical premises CVC, EDF.


Spaces are in white dominants, to bring legibility and understanding but colored keys participate in the development of spaces, and bound the volumes.
They also play a role of signaling system: in the ground floor, the tints of blue in R+1, tints of red, and in R+1 tints of yellow. The colored lines represent a dynamic and positive frame for the pupils and trainers.


A fire escape is served by passageways which so create a space outside privileged for the occupants of the School. We used the guards body of the passageway to draw an identical home front of the second chance school. The home front is realized with tubes and metallic dishes lacquered. It is in echo with the voices of railroads, lines of exercise books, but also the work of Lionel Esteve’s Pistils.
The home front can be seen as an artistical intervention, visible by the local residents and the passers-by of the garden Eole. It is a choice decided to bring one strong architectural element, often absent in these districts.
We collaborated with Franck Franjou, designer light, for the stake in value of the home front and the realization of a sheen in the central space.
We set up a network of colored tubes and white neons of warm and cold light, the pulsations of which will liven up the home front and will be one of a strong signal.

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    The Second Chance School address the young people from 18 to 25 years old. It involves young people taken out of the school system without diploma that is for whom the school was not a success.The Second Chance School offers a formation from 9 months to 1 year. It is a question to reach the control of the basic knowledge: reading, writing, counting, and learning notions of computing and notions of a foreign language.During this period, the young people are brought to make two or three training...

    Project details
    • Year 2011
    • Work finished in 2011
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Schools/Institutes
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