Simplicity and discretion
The public contracting authority wanted a sober and rustic edifice that could hold twelve classrooms, and a theatre that could also be used as a reception hall. In response, the architects chose concrete, with wired, slightly green-tinted, glass sections to impart simplicity and discretion to the building.
The functional requirements are met by two superimposed constructions with distinct geometries and structures. Access to the 350-seat theatre is by a continuous slope, with the classrooms arranged in an elliptical volume on the ground and first floors. An open-air staircase reaches to the upper floor with a gallery enabling access to the classrooms. Smooth concrete was selected for the uniform areas, floors, ceilings and walls, with textured concrete preferred for the edges.
Pilkington Profilit™ Wired reinforced profiled glass, used for the exterior and interior, meets the two major requirements for light and insulation.
Through the play of light, Pilkington Profilit™ Wired offers a simple abstract image of the building. For the architects, the material confers good heat insulation, as well as being strong, inexpensive and easy to assemble.
While the Pilkington Profilit™ Wired panels afford a diffracted view of the exterior, the clear glazing, arranged in the form of scales, permits a clear view of the building’s surroundings.
The radiators, with the same dimensions as the glass panels, perform the role of bodyguards – protecting the pupils from injury in the event of glass breakage and fulfilling the safety requirements of such an establishment.
The thickness of the slabs and walls accommodates the under-floor technical equipment, the ceilings of the classes and the acoustic requirements of the theatre.
A mineral, almost monochromatic, building
Discrete, Pilkington Profilit™ Wired has the advantage of not being encumbered with visible support work, producing an opaque ‘tracing paper’ image. The mineral, and almost monochromatic, simplicity of the concrete and glass dominates even the interior of the project, reinforcing the distinctiveness of its design.