SIN-LE-NOBLE – An eco-school complex for a new sustainable development in North-Eastern France is designed by Lille-based Zigzag Architecture. The site connects the existing district of Epis and the new district of Le Raquet, offering educational facilities for both areas. Accommodating 540 children across 18 classrooms, the shared mutual programme combines a pre-school and an elementary school. Described by the architecture firm as ‘buckle shaped’, the angular brick structure appears to fold around and over itself to form a protective outer wall, encasing two internal courtyards. Situated along the central axis of the site is a wing of shared educational spaces, connecting the two schools at the core of the folding structure.

Environmental considerations were key to the project’s perception, the architects explain, ‘The project translated the sustainable building mode regulations into features that nurtured its design; outside isolation, sunlight control, natural light in all the premises, rain water control and low energy consumption.’ A combination of carefully coordinated deep-set overhangs and large windows balance natural light across the whole site and add to the linear aesthetic.

At present, the building appears rigid and isolated within its surroundings. Over time, the firm anticipates the site will become coated in layers of flora and fauna – spreading from the green roof down to ground level – enveloping the structure and connecting it to the adjacent urban park currently under construction.

Photos courtesy of Julien Lanoo

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