CONDE-SUR-L’ESCAUT – In a French town near the Belgian border, a former coal mining site has been reconstructed into a children’s school. 

The design is divided into three distinct buildings with an impressive program. The nursery school has five classrooms, two nap rooms and a playroom. The elementary school houses 10 classrooms and a computer laboratory, while an administrative building houses a library, multimedia room, and spaces for visual arts, music, staff, offices and infirmary.

Outside is a staff parking lot, two covered playgrounds, a vegetable garden and rain garden. The property was once a coal mining site, which was tendered to be redeveloped in 2007, when Blaq Architectures was commissioned the project.
‘The visual and physical porosity of this public facility recreate new links between the pupils and the refurbished area,’ says architect Xavier Bouffart of Blaq.

Photos courtesy of Julien Lanoo