School building clad in chestnut
shingles by Dauphins

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A skin of chestnut shingles covers the facade of this multipurpose building at a school in the French town of Hostens by Dauphins (+ slideshow).

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

French architecture studio Dauphins designed the building containing playrooms and offices for a plot on the southern border of the school's site, which is connected to playgrounds and other facilities by two bridges.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

"The south orientation of the plot requires that the multidisciplinary leisure centre stretches and closes the composition of the existing school," the architects explained.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

"A dialogue is established with the playground so that the children's universe is rounded off and can be fully shared," they added.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

The facility is constructed from a pine framework raised above the ground on concrete pillars.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

Its undulating facade is clad in wooden shingles that reference local vernacular building methods.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

"The skin made of chestnut tiles gives the building its character and allows an infinite variation of composition, making a contemporary citation of the traditional wooden skins," said the architects.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

South-facing windows are shielded from the sun by bulges in the facade, while the windows on the opposite side of the building push outwards to maximise space inside and create small alcoves.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

An entrance porch at the end of one of the bridges connects to a corridor along which the building's rooms are arranged.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

Offices for staff are contained at the western end of the centre, close to a small kitchen and male and female bathrooms.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

Multipurpose activity rooms for children aged from six to twelve are contained in the centre of the building, with rooms and toilet facilities for younger children at the eastern end.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

Internal walls are made from a wooden framework filled with cob that contrasts with the exposed industrial ducting and wiring on the ceiling.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

The height of the roof alters along the building's length, adapting to the height of the children who use the different spaces.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

Windows are positioned at a low level so children can see out when sitting or standing, while smaller windows higher up the walls introduce ventilation and provide views for the staff.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

Photography is by the architects.

Here's a project description from Dauphins:


Vaisseau d’essente - Multidisciplinary leisure center for childcare in Hostens

Presentation

The south orientation of the plot requires that the multidisciplinary leisure centre stretches and closes the composition of the existing school. A dialogue is established with the playground so that the children "univers" is being rounded off and can be fully shared. The program is divided into three sequences along the main circulation. Gateway entry enters the volume by creating a porch home, around which are organised local staff. In continuity then there are the room dedicated to "les grands", associated with the multipurpose room, and finally separated by the connection to the school, the room dedicated to "les petits" punctuate the composition.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

Around the circulation, are organised two trays which can be separated into two by a moving partition. Enjoying the greatest height, the volume is suitable for activities for children 6 to 12 years old. Framing the landscape, the windows are positioned at a particular height providing children a strong relationship with the landscape as they are sitting or standing. All along the main circulation the partitions are made with a wooden structure fill with cob. The project claims its local identity through the use of regional knowledge and the use of local material, the maritime pine. The structure is part of a dynamic recovery of the local industry, and the most rational means to optimise production costs and assembly.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

The skin made of chestnut tiles, gives the building its character and allows an infinite variation of composition, making a contemporary citation of the traditional wooden skins.

The inflection of the roof has a direct effect on the inside, permitting variable heights (3.40m to 2.40m), adapted to users. The position of the large windows follow that logic and participates in the organisation of the facade. South openings create prominent integrating protections, while in the north, the window is moved to the outside to enjoy the small alcove from the inside. Above the large bow windows, small openings are provided for generating natural ventilation North/South, provide additional natural light and offer views to the management staff.

School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins

Next generations/Playful transmission

Childhood memories are a powerful base in the collective unconscious. We therefore consider valuable to be able to intervene in the development of young people. Our architect responsibility in this program lies in its ability to convey a positive vision and a healthy and supportive environment for generations to come. We started an educational and entertaining participatory approach to educate children about the building process. Some workshops/meetings were enough to interest them, and confirmed the belief that this approach really brings the project in the long term. Accompanying users is an integral part of our design work and conduct of the project.

Client: Communauté de Communes du Pays Paroupian
Size: 400 m2 SHON
Price: 700 000 €HT
Team: dauphins architecture, BERTI, BET TCE Vecoor, OPC, B.Ing, BET bois
Location: Hostens, Gironde, FR
Completed: August 2013

Site plan of School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins
Site plan - click for larger image
Floor plan of School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins
Floor plan - click for larger image
Sections of School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins
Sections - click for larger image
Elevations of School building clad in chestnut tiles by Dauphins
Elevations - click for larger image
  • Romain_M

    That clunky longitudinal corridor, aluminium windows, sub-par fluorescent ceiling fixtures and wall mounted electric heaters just show that a lot of time was spent on the facade of the building and not enough planning went into the actual comfort of its users.

    I’m also not convinced by those low stilts that make it hard for an adult to comfortably move about below the school.

    however, the over-all price seems reasonable and the underlying narrative of the design is interesting ( i.e. : regional heritage + locally sourced materials ).