ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier
by ipas

| 9 comments
 

Slideshow: the modular fenestration of this school building in western Switzerland was inspired by shapes from 1980s computer game Tetris.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

Designed by Swiss architects ipas, the four-storey block is an extension to an existing secondary school and a glass bridge connects it to the main building at second-floor level.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

Concrete steps lead up to the first-floor entrance and can also be used as bleachers when sports activities take place in the adjacent playground.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

Differently coloured walls and floors inside the school differentiate between classrooms, the gym, bathrooms and the entrance foyer.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

Dezeen visited Switzerland at the end of last year for an architectural tour of Basel and Zurich - listen to our podcast from the trip here.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

Photography is by Thomas Jantscher.

The text below is from ipas:


Tetris

The building is located near the forest and its large windows fully open the school on its wooded surroundings. Imagine our children, perched in the wild beauty of foliage, about to sprout from vertigo that comes from the rise of knowledge ....

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

A place outside any, between heaven and earth, where reigns only the relentless beauty of a diaphanous light colored green, the sweet sound of singing of leaves blowing in the wind, a spellbinding atmosphere by its serenity in harmony with all the idea that there is a place of learning.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

Imagine a school which draws its plastic aesthetics of the forest. A beauty who plays a musical symphony to the rhythm of chance and repetition, to capture, play, live emotions that nature gives us.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

The building unfolds quietly because dialogue with nature, respect for the latter, out of modesty, its footprint is minimal: as a result of deforestation is reduced, the search also.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

The repeating pattern used for the definition of the openings of facade has its roots in the plant environment that characterizes the place. Zoom on the macroscopic foliage delivers us a pixelization constituting the frame in which the openings take place.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

The famous arcade game Tetris animates the facades and makes light of the serious idea of a school to give it a more playful.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

A door-to-north false facade welcomes the entry of the new school which is in turn connected to the existing complex through a large entry step outside that can serve as bleachers for outdoor sporting activities. A glass bridge, geometry broken, connects the two schools.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

The program follows a hierarchical organization clear down the access and sport, the top areas of learning, this spatial arrangement is enhanced by the multiple external environments and their lights.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

The circulation spaces are generous because we must accommodate students, create meeting places and provide surfaces for new teaching methods.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

The colors also draws its source in the nearby forest by restoring a concrete-colored brown, evoking the tree trunks. Inside, the chromatic variations borrow light of the four seasons, autumn orange for the lower level, the winter-brown at the entrance, spring green on the first floor and was green-blue in the second floor.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

The bathrooms are blue, penetrates to the wood walls and ceiling of the gyms where the soil reflects the blue sky.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

The building uses the principle of large spans, two concrete walls 40 inches thick and encompassing two levels of classes materialize an arc of 32 meters in length through which the gym is divisible released any intermediate support.

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

In terms of sustainability, maintenance, materials which constitute the outer shell provide durability that resists the vicissitudes of time: an inert material such as concrete, and a compact roof completely resistant to ambient humidity generated by the near the forest

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

Architectes: ipas architectes sa

Competition: 1st prize

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

Planning: 2004, 2005-2007

ESGE Ecole Secondaire de Genolier by ipas

Owner: Commune de Genolier

Team: Michel Egger, Eric Ott, Salvatore Chillari, Delphine Jeanneret-Gris, Gilles Batista, Michael Desaules

In collaboration with: Daniel Schlaepfer, Lausanne, artiste

  • nitchy14

    Amazing project. I'am a teacher and I can assure I would teach everyday for sure in this kind of environnement. The site is fantastic and the natural light through windows are pure element. Maybe a bit messy with this huge amount of white, but somehow it's an awesome project to me.

    • Dan

      this is a school. I can assure you it won't stay white for very long.

  • hele

    Formalism,the space is not as fun as the facade express.

  • stefan

    great, another Tetris project…

  • http://www.facebook.com/colqhoun Sébastien Gerber

    Boring.
    And anything but fun (this is a place for kids).
    That's the kind of architecture that starts from a good idea and gives a bad result.
    It just doesn't fit for a school, imho.

    • michal janak

      why the hell there is a general idea that something for kids=fun, color ? biggest cliche ever. as kid I never really understood why everything appropriated for me has to look like a toy. I much rather enjoyed "adult" things for that reason. As for school, the lack of "funny" environment was the last thing that bothered me. Kids have a massive sense of imagination, they dont really need the environment to represent it. The experience is about the quality of teachers and friends. The environment has to be clean, safe, with a lot of light a huge potential for imagination (which does happen anywhere – lavatory, cafeteria…).

      Not to mention, that learning and understanding materiality is important. Reducing it to superficial plastic colors only results in such environment today is produced – plastic, superficial.

  • alex

    where is the long 5box piece? … tsk tsk !

  • Viens students

    Simply a good school. I would love to see such in Latvia.

  • eric

    Our architecture school in Umea, Sweden looks similar in many ways but retains some level of soul thanks to the wooden facade. This looks utterly dead to me, apart from the gym interior there is nothing to illustrate anything other than clinical efficiency and to me at least, a complete lack of humanity. We deal with similar problems in Umea but manage to circumvent them by being allowed great freedom by the teachers and faculty to interact with our building. I fear the students here will not enjoy the same opportunities to humanize their locale.