College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

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College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

Beneath a wide skylight, a white spiralling staircase descends the three storeys of this high school in Lille by French architects Tank.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

Although constructed entirely from brick, the College Levi-Strauss has no corners, only curved edges.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

Three kinds of brickwork are used to create a facade that varies in colour.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

Square windows of different sizes are scattered across the elevation and at lower level occasional bricks are painted in yellow, green and blue.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

The building surrounds an enclosed courtyard playground, but classrooms face outward towards the city.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

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College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

Photography is by Julien Lanoo.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

The following information is from Tank Architectes:


College Levi Strauss, Lille

The college Levi Strauss is settled in the heart of a urban growth district, between its ancient housing, warehouses and the port district of Lille, North of France.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

The main building’s settled on the urban boulevard, the main hall, highly transparent, is opened on the front square, this gives an institutional feature to the high school playing a major role within the district.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

The main entrance is through a porch at the intersection of Boulevard de la Lorraine and Rue Lestiboudois.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

Very sunny and sheltered from the winds, the playground’s mainly mineral and generously planted.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

Opened on the playground, the entrance of the dining hall and club. Dedicated to the pupils facilities, those spaces have been thought like spaces in the bricks oriented towards the trees of the playground.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

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On top of the covered playground situated on the southern side, the scientific classrooms offer a large view on the nearby urban environment. Connecting to these specialised classrooms, the library’s occupying a central position on the first floor with direct access to the school hall.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

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The asymmetrical alignment of the variously sized square windows bring light into the classrooms and offer pupils large views of the city. On the southern part of the site outdoor sporting facilities and a gymnasium operate independently.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

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College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

Click above for larger image

As in many regions of northern Europe, the brick is the only material used for the facades. The architects wanted rounded corners, so that the high school looks soft, there’s no sharp angle. The bricks are rendered in 3 stratums corresponding to the 3 shifted levels of the building which create open spaces and identify the entrance of the pupils.

College Levi-Strauss by Tank Architectes

Click above for larger image

Project managers:
Architects: TANK ARCHITECTES, Olivier Camus & Lydéric Veauvy
Mathieu Berteloot, collaborating architect

Engineering studies:
Structures, fluids, kitchen Pingat Ingéniérie,
Sustainable development Etamine
Road works Best VRD
Landscape : Paysages
Outdoor design : Atelier Télescopique

Client: Conseil Général du Nord
Total cost: 13 158 000 € ht
Area: 8 200 m2 SHON
Calendar: studies: june 2007-oct 2008
building: nov 2008-nov 2010
delivery: november 2010

  • Ray

    I love the spaces and the form but I the brick exterior kind of kills it.

    • http://www.dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

      I studied at the Universidad Iberoamericana, so to me it feels cozy ;)

      The classrooms look kind of bland, though.

  • tony giacco

    The brick exterior is fantastic, especially the curved moments.

  • I like the bricks…Just a shame that the curved bricks appear to be different in colour than the straight ones.

  • yuc

    Nice take on Aalto-esque sinuous plasticity! Well done really.

    By the way, these days brick walls are becoming popular, this is really interesting.

  • http://www.eliteqdesign.com Denver

    Stunning bend both in the bricks and stairways. The painted parking lot creates continuity in the design.