Thanks to the close cooperation between Germany and France, the Franco-German Grammar School in BUC has won international renown. The teaching at Lycée Franco-Allemand focusses on giving students excellent command of languages as well as of scientific subjects. Additionally, the school places great emphasis on cultivating and practicing the bi-national cultural relationship.
The plans for the school’s restructuring and extension will raise it to new levels of quality. A new primary school is being built in the north-eastern corner of the site. It will have close links to the grammar school to the west of it. The restructuring measures will also include a gymnasium already standing on the site. The undulating horizontal lines of the buildings interweave with the surrounding landscape and together with the existing buildings around them will form a new and impressive ensemble. Their orientation towards the southeast draws in the adjacent castle garden, making them part of the school and integrates the natural green growth of the park into the school space. Only the structure will be retained of the existing buildings.
The architects propose an urban facade for the access area along the road. A generous, covered entrance creates a smoothly flowing transition from the forecourt to the atrium at the heart of the school. With its high transparency it provides good views towards the schoolyard and park. The result is an inviting and self-explaining entrance into the building.
The building’s facades towards the park are of softer design, more “landscape-like”. They provide different views from all levels of the building towards the green area and to the trees. The language of the architecture is less formal on this side, emphasizing its connection to the landscape. The new center of the building culminates in a green canopy which connects the schoolyard to the atrium and provides space for a multitude of different activities offered at the Franco-German school, which, beyond regular classroom lessons, wants its’ students to be able to palpably experience the cultures of both countries. In addition, by integrating and upgrading the school’s environment, students are made more aware of the landscape and nature around them.
Conseil Général des Yvelines
Behnisch Architekten, Stuttgart with Atelier 2a+, Versailles, France
2015, 1st prize